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Lemon and Herb Roast Chicken
Lemon and Herb Roast Chicken Erin McDowell

Some days you want to dress up chicken—say, with a smoky spice rub prior to roasting. Others, you just want to get the bird into the oven and dinner onto the table. For the latter, make this recipe for lemon and herb roast chicken. We season the chicken with lemon, thyme, rosemary and butter, and the result is tender, juicy meat with crispy, golden skin. Another plus to roasting an entire chicken? Leftovers. Use them in salads, soups and pastas all week long. Talk about an hour well spent.

RELATED: 5 Totally Non-Boring Roast Chicken Recipes

Makes 4 servings

1 whole chicken (approximately 4½ pounds)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 lemons, halved

½ bunch thyme

½ bunch rosemary

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a roasting rack on top.

2. Rinse the chicken and pat dry very well with paper towels. Bend the wings back around the neck of the chicken.

3. Rub the chicken all around the outside with the softened butter. Stuff the inside of the chicken with the lemon halves and the herbs. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper.

4. Tie the legs of the chicken together with trussing twine and cut away excess strings.

5. Transfer the chicken to the prepared roasting rack. Roast until the skin is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375°F and continue roasting until the chicken is cooked through (the juice between the leg and thigh runs clear, and a meat thermometer reads 165°F).

6. Let the chicken rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving and serving. (It goes well with sides of spicy brussels sprouts and smashed potatoes.)

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