One of my favorite things to make is a whole roasted chicken.
This Thanksgiving, Travis and I decided to spend it alone at home, just the two of us. We generally travel to San Francisco to be with my family, or Santa Fe to be with his for the holiday, but being 7 1/2 months pregnant and with traveling being cumbersome for me these days, having a nice holiday at home was a great switch for the year. We were able to check lots of things off of our “baby to do list” and just enjoy our time together as we gear up for all of the craziness that awaits us in the new year.
If you looked at our table on Thanksgiving, though, you would have never known it was a meal being consumed by two (and a half) people. We cooked on and off throughout the day and our final menu was a small Honeybaked ham, homemade stuffing, fresh cranberry sauce, pumpkin bread, a dessert made by my husband and a whole roasted chicken.
I got into roasting whole chickens last year and did it quite a few times. It’s nice because you not only have your meal for that evening, but what you can do with the leftovers is endless. You can make lovely sandwiches, chicken pot pie, fajitas, you name it! And whole chickens don’t cost much and are SUPER easy to make.
I love to incorporate some of my favorite flavors like lemon and rosemary, but really any herbs you like (or a combo) can be used. It doesn’t take much to make it absolutely delicious! Below is a picture of our guy ready all buttered and ready to go into the oven!
This chicken was a great alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving turkey and we had chicken to eat for days! All-in-all it was a fantastic holiday at home!
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Although I wish we all didn’t need a special day to truly realize and celebrate everything we have to be thankful for, and that we did it on our own every day, I hope it was spent with those you love and that you all have a wonderful holiday season!
Whole Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary
1 whole chicken, approximately four pounds
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary, plus 4 whole sprigs for inside the chicken
Salt and pepper
1/2 yellow onion
- Approximately 30 minutes before you’d like to prepare your chicken with the butter mixture, take it out of the fridge, unwrap and remove and giblets and it pat dry. Then leave it at room temperature until the butter mixture is applied.
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a small bowl, mix the butter, chopped rosemary and the zest of three lemons then set aside.
- Generously salt and pepper all sides of the chicken.
- Rub the entire butter mixture on all sides of the chicken (including the inside cavity).
- Place the 1/2 onion, whole rosemary sprigs and half a lemon in the inside cavity of the chicken.
- Tuck the wings of the chicken behind it’s body (see photos above).
- If you have chicken twine, you can tie the legs tightly together. I don’t always have twine so I make a cut in the left chicken leg long enough to pull the end of the right leg through (you can see this a bit in the photo above). You could also use this method.
- Place your chicken on a rack in a roasting pan and pop it in the oven. Bake until the juices run clear and a thermometer inserted in the inner thigh (not touching bone) registers 165 degrees. This is generally takes about 20-25 minutes per pound of chicken, but may be a little longer depending on your oven.
- Let your chicken rest for 15-20 minutes before carving and serving.
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