Recipe Summary

30 mins
8 hrs to 1 day
15 mins at 425°
3 hrs 30 mins at 250°


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Remove the giblets from chicken; discard or save for another use. If you like, rinse the chicken thoroughly on outside as well as inside the body and neck cavities. Let any excess water run off. Pat dry with paper towels. To prevent the wing tips from overbrowning and for a neater appearance, twist wing tips under back of the chicken. Set aside. Open and cuff back the top of a large, freezer-quality zipper-type plastic storage bag; set aside.

For spice rub:
  • In a small bowl, combine salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, white pepper, thyme, black pepper, sage and cayenne pepper. Remove 1 tablespoon of the spice rub; set aside. (Note: Discard herbs and spices that have been in your kitchen for more than one year. They really don't have any flavor or redeeming value.)

Instructions Checklist
Instructions Checklist
Instructions Checklist
  • In a medium bowl, combine the reserved 1 tablespoon of spice rub, lemon, onion, garlic and sugar. Squeeze a wedge of lemon over the lemon mixture. Cover and chill for 8 to 24 hours.

Instructions Checklist
  • Use your fingers to rub and massage the remaining spice rub all over the chicken's skin and inside the body cavity. If possible, reach under the skin. Place chicken in storage bag. Seal bag and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours. (Note: Wear disposable latex gloves if you are squeamish about handling raw chicken.)

Instructions Checklist
Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Instructions Checklist
  • Place chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Stuff the chicken's cavity with the lemon and onion mixture. If you like, add 1 sprig of rosemary inside the cavity. Roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Instructions Checklist
Instructions Checklist
To slow-roast chicken:
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees F. Roast, uncovered, for 1 hour. Use a squeeze-style baster or a pastry brush to baste the chicken with the pan juices. (Note: Be sure to thoroughly wash the baster or brush between basting.) Roast, uncovered, for 2-1/2 to 3 hours more, basting chicken with pan juices about every 30 minutes. (Note: Basting ensures the chicken will be moist.) Roast the chicken until the drumsticks move easily in their sockets and chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken from oven. (Note: After roasting, to check the internal temperature of the chicken, insert an instant meat thermometer into the center of an inside thigh muscle. The tip of the thermometer should not touch the bone. Instant meat thermometer should register 180 degrees F.)

Instructions Checklist
  • To serve, transfer chicken to a large serving platter. If you like, garnish with lemon twists and rosemary sprigs. Makes 8 servings.


Make sure your oven temperature is accurate by placing an oven thermometer on an oven rack. Oven thermometers are available at any grocery store.

Perfect Citrus Herb Faster-Roasted Chicken:

Prepare chicken as directed above in Steps 1 through 6. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F. Roast, uncovered, in a 375 degree F oven for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until drumsticks move easily in their sockets and chicken is no longer pink (180 degrees F). Remove chicken from oven. Cover; let stand for 10 minutes before carving. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts

381 calories; total fat 25g; saturated fat 7g; polyunsaturated fat 5g; monounsaturated fat 10g; cholesterol 129mg; sodium 1261mg; potassium 314mg; carbohydrates 4g; fiber 1g; sugar 1g; protein 33g; vitamin a 486IU; vitamin c 6mg; thiaminmg; riboflavinmg; niacin equivalents 9mg; vitamin b6 1mg; folate 8mcg; vitamin b12mcg; calcium 30mg; iron 2mg.