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Tonight’s Dinner: Roasted Lemon Chicken


A whole roasted chicken is a nice way to fancy up the family dinner table, and adding some lemon zest and white balsamic vinegar make this roast chicken the perfect answer for a nice Friday night dinner.

I’ve always loved roasted chicken. I’m not sure why, really, there’s just something about the crispy skin and gnawing the meat off the leg bones. In this day and age when every protein seems to be about skinless this and boneless that, it’s nice every so often to cut into a whole chicken that still has all its bones and skin.

It’s that skin that always makes the chicken (or turkey) look so beautiful in magazines or on holiday dinner tables, and you can do anything with it. It can be as simple as sprinkling it with salt and pepper or as complicated as covering it in butter, fruit, and spices. Once in a while it’s okay to indulge, have that skin and all that deliciousness that goes with it.

Roasted Lemon Chicken


  • 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 2 teaspoons ground thyme
  • 1 chicken (4 to 5 pounds)
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine (like a chardonnay)
  • 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch


  1. Combine butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, and thyme in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Remove giblets from chicken and save for another use; pat chicken dry; rub butter mixture all over chicken (it’s best to use your hands so you can really get it in all the crevices).
  4. Set a V-shaped rack in a large roasting pan; place chicken in rack, breast side up; roast chicken, basting with pan juices every 30 minutes or so until the skin is brown and crisp and a thermometer registers 170 degrees F when inserted through thickest part of breast, 1 to 1 1/2 hours; tip chicken so juices flow into roasting pan; transfer chicken to serving platter and let rest, covered with foil.
  5. To make the lemon sauce, pour pan drippings into a medium saucepan; whisk in broth, wine, and balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat to low and simmer.
  6. While the sauce simmers, mix 2 tablespoons sauce and cornstarch in a cup until well combined; pour cornstarch mixture back into sauce and stir; continue simmering until sauce turns a light brown color and thickens; pour sauce into a serving bowl. Carve the chicken and serve with the sauce.

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Asian Roast Chicken

Honey and Rosemary Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken with Chili Lime Sauce

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