A classic roasted lemon chicken you must have in your recipe file. Also known as Engagement Chicken, this juicy bird is simply seasoned with lemon, garlic and herbs. Master this easy recipe and they'll love you forever!
Pat the chicken as dry as possible with paper towels and place in a shallow casserole dish or roasting pan. A quarter-sheet pan is the perfect size for one whole chicken.
Put 2 teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon of the pepper, the garlic, lemon and herbs into the cavity. Rub the remaining 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper all over the skin — front, sides and back. Tie the legs together firmly with a piece of kitchen string.
Drizzle the oil into the pan, and turn the chicken breast side down. Let it sit at room temperature while you preheat the oven to 425 (220 C) degrees, for at least 20 minutes. Make sure the oven rack is set in the center of the oven.
Roast the chicken for 25 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and carefully turn it so the breast is facing up. Put it back into the oven, turn the temperature down to 375 (190 C) and roast for 25-30 more minutes. When it's done, the chicken will be sizzling and spitting, the legs joints will wiggle and the skin should be golden and crisp. You can take its temperature with a digital thermometer if you're unsure: 160-165 degrees before resting is my preference.
Take the chicken out of the oven and let it rest, loosely covered with a piece of aluminum foil for 15 minutes. Carve and serve with reserved juices from the pan and the inside of the chicken.
No kitchen string? Close the cavity with a few toothpicks pushed through the skin on either side of the cavity instead.
If you're using regular table salt instead of kosher salt, decrease the total amount to 2 teaspoons.
Leftover chicken is great to use in baked pasta dishes or sliced up to use in chicken salad sandwiches.