Nothing beats a classic meal than roasted chicken. This preserved lemon roasted chicken is particularly special because of the preserved lemon, fresh herbs, and incredibly delicious roasted vegetables.
Preserved Lemon Roasted Chicken
- 1 whole chicken 4-5#
- 6 tablespoons butter softened at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
- 10 garlic cloves
- ½ preserved lemon
- zest of 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 lemon halved
- 6 medium Yukon potatoes quartered
- 6 medium carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion quartered
- 5 sprigs rosemary
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ cup chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Combine butter, thyme, rosemary, garlic, preserved lemon, lemon zest, black pepper, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until well combined.
- Loosen chicken skin and spread some of the butter mixture under the skin on the breast and legs. Spread remaining butter on top of skin on the breast and legs. Season chicken cavity with salt and pepper and stuff with halved lemon. Tie legs together with kitchen twine.
- Place cut potatoes, carrots, onion, and rosemary in a 9x13 baking dish. Drizzle oil and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour chicken broth on top.
- Place a rack on top of the vegetables and place chicken on top of rack. Roast chicken for 95 minutes or until internal temperature registers 165 degrees F. Remove from oven and let rest 10-15 minutes. Slice chicken and serve.
Watch how to make this:
Every time I go to Costco, I pass by the roasted chicken and spend 10 minutes wondering if I should buy one. It's just rotisserie chicken but that crispy golden skin and juicy meat call out to me every time. This time I decided to skip the purchase and make it myself. To amp up the flavor and incorporate vegetables, I prepared a preserved lemon roasted chicken with roasted potatoes and carrots. It's easy to prepare and delivers on flavor, just what I want!
I love preparing roasted chicken for dinner because it's easy. Once all of the ingredients are ready, you just throw them all in the roasting pan and let them sit in the oven. Plus, you can prepare a large portion at once. This preserved lemon roasted chicken requires an extra step with the seasoned butter but it's not hard, trust me.
- Whole chicken: Although this recipe uses a whole chicken, you can use bone-in, skin-on chicken instead or spatchcock the chicken. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Herbs: We're using a combination of thyme and rosemary to add fresh herbs but you can use any other combination including oregano, sage, or parsley.
- Butter: By combining all of the aromatics with the butter, we're able to not only season the chicken but also add a fat element, making sure the chicken stays juicy.
- Preserved lemon: A traditional condiment in Middle Eastern cuisines in which lemons are pickled in a mixture of salt and their own juices. Preserved lemons have a complex, tangy taste while the bitterness of the lemon peel is mellowed.
- Yukon potatoes: For a creamy potato, use Yukon potatoes, white potatoes, or red potatoes.
- Carrots: The root vegetable pairs well with the chicken and potatoes, however, you can replace it with another root vegetable such as parsnips or sweet potatoes.
How to Make Preserved Lemon Roasted Chicken
Step 1: Make the seasoned butter
The butter is where all the flavor comes from so you can't skip it. In a food processor, combine softened room temperature with half of a preserved lemon, lemon zest, herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Preserved lemons are lemons that have been preserved in salt. Unfortunately, you can't replace preserved lemons with regular lemons. Preserved lemons have an intense lemon flavor with an umami flavor that regular lemons don't provide.
If you can't find any at a market, you can make them yourself. In fact, you can even make a quick version and it'll suffice for this recipe.
Step 2: Prepare the chicken
Loosen the skin under the chicken and spread about half of the butter underneath. Then, use the remaining butter to spread it directly on top of the chicken. You want the chicken to absorb all of those flavors so it's important to spread it both under and over the skin.
Keep the lemon that you used for the lemon zest and cut it in half. Stuff the chicken cavity with the lemon halves and tie the legs together to keep them enclosed. Make sure you season the cavity with salt and pepper to better infuse the meat with flavor.
Step 3: Roast the chicken
Next, prepare the vegetables. You can use a different mixture of root vegetables but I went with the classic carrots and potatoes. Parsnips, squash, and celery root would all be great choices as well.
Cut the vegetables fairly large since they're going to be roasting for at least 1 hour and 30 minutes. If they're too small, they will end up burning. Some pieces may inevitably burn but a little char didn't hurt anyone, right?
Season the vegetables with salt, pepper, and nutmeg and toss them with olive oil. Pour a bit of chicken stock into the pan, then, place a rack on top. Arrange the chicken on top and roast for about 95 minutes or until an internal temperature registers 165 degrees F.
It's important to let the preserved lemon roasted chicken rest for at least 10 minutes. This resting time allows the chicken juices to permeate and help it become even juicier.
For an extra hint of lemon, take the lemon halves out of the chicken and squeeze them over the roasted vegetables.
This preserved lemon roasted lemon seems basic but wow is it delicious. All of that delicious butter drips down onto the vegetables making them extra flavorful as well. Now, this is my idea of a perfect homemade dinner!
How do I know when the chicken is done cooking?
Rather than going by time, rely on the chicken's internal temperature. The 95 minutes is just a guide and can differ depending on the strength of your oven. Instead, stick a thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken, usually the thigh, without touching the bone. When it registers 165 degrees, it's ready.
Why do you have to rest the chicken after it's done cooking?
When the chicken rests, the juices are allowed to redistribute throughout the meat, allowing for a juicier chicken. In addition, after you remove meat from the oven, carryover cooking continues to raise its internal temperature for a few minutes. Allowing the meat to rest during this time helps prevent overcooking.
What can I serve with the preserved lemon roasted chicken?
Although the potatoes and carrots already provide a side dish to the chicken, you can also provide a simple salad or bread with butter.
For more roasted chicken inspiration check out this five spice roasted chicken!