Meyer Lemon and Thyme Roasted Chicken

Cook Time

Total Time



    For the Roasted Garlic

    • 1 head garlic
    • 1 tsp olive oil

    For the Roasted Chicken

    • 1 lemon
    • 3 Tbsp melted butter
    • 3 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, plus 3 springs
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 16 oz chicken stock (approximately 1 can or use homemade)
    • 1 4-5 pound chicken
    • 1 small-medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered, divided

    For Garnish (optional)

    • 1 thyme sprig
    • Lemon slices


    To Roast the Garlic:

    1. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 400°F. (I have a toaster oven; it's perfect if you have one). Rub off excess papery skin from garlic heads without separating the cloves. Slice the ends off the side opposite the root, exposing the cloves.
    2. Place the head on a square of foil, drizzle with the olive oil and wrap into a package. Roast until very soft, 40 to 45 minutes. Unwrap the foil and let cool.

    To Make the Chicken

    1. Zest and juice the lemon; putting both into a bowl; reserving the lemon peels.
    2. Add the melted butter, olive oil, chopped thyme, pepper, and salt to the lemon mixture. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins into the bowl. Mash with a fork and then whisk together until the mixture forms a paste.
    3. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees.
    4. Remove the turkey from packaging and remove any giblets from cavity and use for gravy or discard. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and loosen the skin over the breast and thigh meat.
    5. Rub the lemon garlic paste under the skin onto the breast meat and leg meat, a little inside the cavity and all over the outside of the bird. Tuck the wing tips under the chicken. Place the reserved squeezed lemon skins, thyme sprigs and 2 onion quarters in the cavity. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place the chicken breast-side up on a roasting rack set in a large roasting pan. Pour the chicken stock into the bottom of the pan (add additional water to the pan during roasting if necessary).
    6. Roast the chicken for 1 and 1/2 hours, basting every 15 minutes with the stock/drippings in the bottom of the pan. Chicken is done when the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh without touching bone registers 165°F. Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes.
    7. Remove foil and garnish with thyme and lemon slices if using. Serve.

    Recipe Notes

    If necessary tent the bird with foil to stop browning before roasting is done.

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