Rosemary and lemon roast chicken

Non-roasted chickens (Photo: Allie’s.Dad on Flickr)

Last week, I stumbled across this blog post with a recipe for a delicious sounding roast chicken. I’d been thinking about roasting a chicken for a while, and I knew instantly that this had to be the one I tried. The only problem was all the measurements are in American, i.e. cups and sticks and things. Seriously Americans, what’s wrong with good old grams? I knew that couldn’t be the only roast chicken recipe out there to use rosemary and lemons though, so I turned to the Interwebs for help. A quick google came up with this BBC Good Food recipe that sounded quite similar, so I settled on making my own version based on a combination of those two recipes. Here’s what I did (there are no photos of the individual steps because I wasn’t planning on blogging about it. This post is borne of a sheer lack of anything else to blog about – even my search terms have been boring recently!):

One whole chicken
150 g of butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Half of a red chilli, deseeded and chopped finely
15 g of fresh rosemary, finely chopped (the BBC recipe wanted 20 g. Well, sorry BBC but fresh herbs in Germany only come as either whole plants or in 15 g packs!)
Freshly ground black pepper


This image shows a whole and a cut lemon.
Lemons (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  1. Leave the butter out for a bit to soften then place it in a bowl. Add the zest of one lemon to the bowl (or both if you like. I accidently chopped one lemon in half before remembering this was supposed to be the zesting stage and I didn’t fancy grating zest off a lemon that was in half. Too messy!)
  2. Crush 2 garlic cloves into the butter and add the chopped chilli and chopped rosemary. Comine the butter and other ingredients together.
  3. Rub about half of the buttery-herby-lemony mix all over the chicken (yes, with your hands! And I do have to admit I felt a bit sick looking at all that butter on my chicken! Jan, on the other hand, came in, looked at it and said “Mmm, that looks good!” In case you ever doubted that men and women are different, there’s your proof. ;-)) then squeeze all the juice from one lemon over it (I used the one I hadn’t previously zested). Then grind black pepper all over the top of the chicken.
  4. Cut the other lemon in half and stick the 2 halves inside the cavity of the chicken (the blog recipe told me to put all 4 halves up there but my chicken was only big enough for 2!)
  5. Cover the chicken with foil and put it in the oven for half an hour on 190°C. Then remove it, get rid of some of the fat/butter mix from the bottom of the roasting pan then put the rest of the butter mixture over the chicken (this time I used a spoon – too hot for hands!)
  6. Cover the chicken again and put it back in the oven for about 20 minutes, then uncover it and put it back in for around 20 minutes to brown, turning the oven down to about 170°C for these 20 minutes.
  7. Once the juices are running clear and the chicken is brown on top, take it out of the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes then serve with the side dishes of your choice. We had roast potatoes, mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Here’s my chicken:


It went back in the oven after I took this to brown up some more. It never did get properly brown, but the juices were running clear so I figured it would be ok. And neither of us has been ill this week, so I obviously got lucky 😉

A Sunday dinner for two
A Sunday dinner for two