Roasted Lemon and Rosemary Chicken

I think that chicken is such a versatile protein. It can be used so brilliantly with a myriad of various spices and flavor profiles to produce a delicious meal. Chicken can be cooked in so many ways, that you could have several different styles of chicken dishes together on a table and each would be unique unto itself. Chicken was once considered in many cultures a luxury when it was reserved as the Sunday family meal. Today, chicken is one of the most economical proteins available. It is universally appreciated for its tender and versatile flesh. Every part of the chicken can be used in some way with practically no waste. Delicious dishes can be enjoyed in so many ways from simple broths and soups to more intricate flavors and preparations.

A simple Chinese chicken soup

I prepare roast chicken very often for my family. It is tasty way to prepare a whole chicken. I always prefer to marinate the chicken for at least a few hours as it truly makes a difference in the preparation and the outcome. I also have found that by slicing the whole chicken into halves, it cooks more evenly and faster. The added benefit of this is also that the skin becomes crispier unlike a whole chicken which always has a soggy or less crispy underside. There are so many different roast marinades which I use, depending on my mood. From my traditional green marinade of garlic and thyme, to the Chinese flavors of ginger and five spice and now to this herbaceous preparation of Mediterranean profiles of lemon, rosemary and olive oil. The latter has become a new favorite in my kitchen repertoire. The outcome of this roasted lemon and rosemary chicken is delightful. If you enjoy flavors that are bright and citrusy, you have to try doing this roast chicken.

A beautiful platter Lemon Rosemary roast chicken along with pan roasted vegetables

I am a firm believer of utilizing my oven efficiently while it is on. That means I don’t just bake my chicken, but I also plan ahead and have a vegetable gratin or bread stuffing in the oven cooking at the same time. You can parboil potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots or parsnips and either add them along side the chicken. This way the veggies also have some of the wonderful flavors from the juices released from the meat being cooked. I also love brussel sprouts or asparagus roasted in a separate pan with a melange of olive oil, garlic and lemon zest for 20 minutes. You have the absolute perfect meal to enjoy on a weekend.

I recently had this recipe published in a magazine in Haïti. It’s a great addition to your culinary repertoire and I am sure the succulent flavors and easy preparation will keep you coming back to this recipe for a memorable meal.

Happy cooking everyone!

My published recipe in the October Edition of NBHaiti in the Chef’s corner/ Gastronomy

Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken

Feeds 4-6

3 1/2 -4 lb chicken split into half and flattened
1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
2 lemons: 1 zested and juiced, 1 sliced into 6 rounds
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp thyme
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rum
1 onion, sliced

1/2 onion sliced
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 whole pepper for flavor


Cut the chicken in half and and place in a roasting pan. Sprinkle 1 tsp salt on each side.
In a bowl, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, rosemary, thyme, black pepper and garlic. Mix together well.
Add the soy sauce and rum to the marinade.
Pour over chicken ensuring that marinade is well distributed on both sides.
Cover and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. Turn the pieces over at least once during the marinating process.

Chicken marinated in herbs

Set the temperature of the oven to 400 degrees.
On a baking sheet, drizzle a little olive oil, place 6 lemon slices and scatter sliced onions. sprinkle some salt and black pepper over them.
Place the 2 chicken halves, skin side up on top of the lemon  and onion slices.
Use a paper towel to remove excess moisture in the skin of the chicken.
Baste with the olive oil marinade
Place the chicken into the prepared oven for 45 minutes. Baste with a little butter and continue cooking for another 15 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the thigh section releases clear juices.

The finished roasted chicken

In a saucepan, pour the remaining marinade, add half an onion sliced and a 1/4 cup chicken stock, 1 whole hot pepper for flavor not for spicy heat. Place on a medium flame and bring to a boil. Lower temperature to medium and cook until reduced.

Serve warm.

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