12 Posts of Christmas Poultry Recipes

12 Posts of Christmas: Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken

12 Posts of Christmas

Post 3 – Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken

This past weekend I had 2 of my best friends over for dinner to celebrate Christmas and to thank them for just being such awesome friends. I had made latkes earlier in the afternoon for dinner and I wanted to make some sort of delicious roast meat to go with them. I had been browsing the internet for recipes a few weeks ago and found a great looking roast chicken recipe by the Barefoot Contessa. Saturday was the perfect night to try out this recipe and roast chicken seemed like it would go pretty well with latkes.

Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken

(adapted from The Barefoot Contessa’s Recipe on the Food Network website)

– 1 (5 to 6-pound) roasting chicken
– salt
– freshly ground black pepper
– 1 large bunch fresh thyme or dried thyme
– 3 lemons
– 2 heads garlic, 1 cut in 1/2 crosswise and the other broken up into individual cloves
– 2 tablespoons butter, melted
– 4 slices of bacon cut in half
– 1 cup white wine
– 1/2 cup chicken stock


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry.

Sliced lemons and garlic
Sliced lemons and garlic

3. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the thyme (I used a good sprinkle of dried thyme instead), 1 lemon, halved, and 2 halves of the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper.

Seasoned chicken stuffed with garlic and lemon
Seasoned chicken stuffed with garlic and lemon

4. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Cut 2 of the lemons in quarters and scatter the quarters and remaining garlic around the chicken. Lay the bacon slices over the chicken to cover.

Covered in bacon
Covered in bacon

5. Roast the chicken for 1 hour. Remove the bacon slices from the top of the chicken and set aside. Continue roasting the chicken for an additional 1/2 hour, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove to a platter and cover with aluminum foil while you prepare the gravy.

After 1 hour of roasting
After 1 hour of roasting

6. Remove the lemon and garlic bits and all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the bottom of the pan. Add the wine and chicken stock and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, or until reduced by half. I also squeezed in any juice left in the roasted lemons and added some extra dried thyme.

Roast chicken ready to serve
Roast chicken ready to serve

7. Slice the chicken and serve on a platter. Garnish the chicken platter with the bacon slices and roasted garlic. Serve with the gravy.

I thought the chicken turned out pretty good, the meat was very moist and flavourful. This wasn’t my very favourite roast chicken recipe however, as I think I prefer a more traditional gravy. Although I think the gravy recipe could be altered a little bit to make it more traditional by just using chicken stock and maybe a roux to thicken the gravy. My friends seemed pretty pleased with the chicken though, so overall I would say the meal was a success! And it was super simple to make… as the Barefoot Contessa would say “how easy is that?”

Happy Monday!


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