Lemon Pepper Whole Roasted Chicken using fresh lemon zest and cracked fresh black pepper is a deliciously easy recipe with a ton of flavor.
It’s time for another whole roasted chicken recipe! Honestly, I never even know whether or not to post these types of recipes because I make one at least one a week, but everyone seems to love them.
The good thing about a whole roaster chicken is that they’re almost always on sale; which makes roasting a chicken one of the best economical meals out there. Seriously. How many other types of protein can you make for dinner; then get another 3-4 meals out of it?
That was a rhetorical question, but in all seriousness if you get one large enough you can have your initial meal on a Sunday; then make chicken salad for lunch, a pot pie for dinner and use the carcass to make homemade chicken soup. Everyone’s happy.
In my early twenties, I lived on that lemon pepper seasoning; which was basically all salt and would put it on everything. I love salt, but too much salt isn’t good for anyone. With this recipe for Lemon Pepper Whole Roasted Chicken, you can control just how much salt you add to your food without losing out on the flavor.
How do you make Lemon Pepper Whole Roasted Chicken?
For this recipe, you’ll need 5 ingredients: a whole roaster chicken, fresh lemon zest, black pepper, EVOO and salt. Yes, there is salt, but you can control how much you use or omit altogether if you’d like.
Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F; then get out your roasting pan. You can use it with or without the rack, but add a bit of water or chicken broth to the bottom so the pan doesn’t burn and you can make a gravy with the drippings afterwards.
Prepare your chicken by making sure there is nothing inside the cavity. Depending on the size of your chicken the innards will either be removed already, in a bag or loose inside the cavity.
Remove them and discard; unless you like to use them in stuffing like my grandmother used to do many years ago. But I’ll skip on that, thank you very much. Place the chicken in the roasting pan; then season with desired amount of salt.
In a small bowl combine the oil, fresh lemon zest and black pepper. Mix well; then brush on top of the chicken. Place the pan in the oven on a low rack and cook until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F (my preferred temperature for chicken).
Also, try not to baste the chicken too much, once or twice is fine because you don’t want all of that good lemon pepper flavor to come off of the bird completely.
This chicken was 8 pounds and took 1 hour 45 minutes, but cooking times will vary depending on the size of your chicken.
Using an instant read thermometer, insert the probe into the thickest part of the breast near the leg after an hour and adjust your time from there.
How do you carve a whole roaster chicken?
Whether you’re making a roaster chicken or a 25 lb. turkey, carving can be a little daunting for the first time cook. Here are some steps to get you started:
- Cut the legs from the body where the thigh meets the breast.
- Cut through the leg joint to separate the drumstick from the thigh.
- If you prefer your dark meat sliced, hold the drumstick by the leg and slice the meat downward off of the bone. For the thigh, cut the meat off of the bone angling the knife as you go.
- Carve both breasts from the breastbone and ribcage; then slice the breast crosswise into 1/2″ slices.
My family loved this Lemon Pepper Whole Roasted Chicken and were picking at it before I even carved the entire thing. I guess simple is always best, right?
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- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F; then place your chicken in a roasting pan with a bit of chicken broth on the bottom of the pan to avoid sticking and to make gravy if desired.
- In a small bowl combine the oil, lemon zest and pepper. Mix well; then brush on top of the chicken.
- Place the pan in the oven on a low rack and cook until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F (my preferred temperature for chicken). (Try not to baste the chicken too much, once or twice is fine because you don't want all of that good lemon pepper flavor to come off of the bird completely.)
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