Oregano Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken.
One night every week we cook a whole chicken for dinner. Sometimes we work hard to create interesting and different flavors by changing up the fresh herbs or marinade or even cooking style. Sometimes we just sprinkle her with salt & pepper and roast her until she’s done…on these days it’s not uncommon that we also stand at the counter hand picking our way through dinner.
However it happens, we always end up with the makings of an amazing chicken broth. Which in turn gives us the base for some pretty special soups. This post will focus on ~ Step 1, the bird. One per week = a lot of chicken recipes. One that has yet to leave our memory (or our taste buds) is what we call Oregano Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken. Other than butter, salt & pepper that’s your ingredient list.
Most 4-5 lb. chickens will come with a bag of gizzards, reserve this for making broth later. Wash chicken with cool water (inside and out) and pat completely dry with paper towels. We typically add herbs under the skin. I found the best way to do this is to combine your herbs with 2-3 Tbl. softened butter.
For this recipe we used butter, oregano leaves, chopped garlic, lemon juice, sea salt & fresh cracked pepper. Gently lift the skin above the breasts and spread with the herb mixture. Season the cavity with salt & pepper and toss in the lemon halves. Rub the outer skin with a little butter and sprinkle with more oregano leaves, salt & pepper.
Because we wanted the skin to brown up nicely we cooked this bird on a rack in an open baking dish. Bake at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and continue cooking until meat thermometer inserted into the inner thigh reads 165 degrees and the juices run clear when pierced with a fork. If your bird has a pop-up timer….trust it. To keep the juices in the bird and not on your counter, once removed from the oven let stand for at least 15 – 30 minutes before carving.
I have purposefully avoided exact ingredient amounts, not to covet this amazing recipe…but because we didn’t measure and when it comes to roast chicken just get happy. It is one of the easiest things to season how you like, throw in the oven, then in less than two hours when the most amazing aromas fill your kitchen, your family will gather at the table without the ring of a dinner bell.
Oregano, lemon, and garlic have now become a favorite flavor combination for us. This tantalizing trio has since found its way into marinades, rubs, and soups. You will love the layers of flavor. Give it a try and if you do, let us know how you liked it.
When dinner is over, don’t forget to save the chicken carcass and any remaining meat. Tomorrow this will become ~ Step 2, heavenly broth.
Oregano Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken
- 1 4-5 lb. whole chicken
- 2-3 Tbl. butter softened
- 1 lemon
- 3-4 garlic cloves minced
- 2-3 sprigs fresh oregano
- salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Combine butter with 1 Tbl. lemon juice, minced garlic, 2 sprigs oregano leaves chopped. Reserve some whole leaves for topping.
- Rinse and dry chicken.
- Season the cavity with salt & pepper and add the lemon halves.
- Gently lift skin above chicken breast and spread with butter herb mixture.
- Sprinkle outer skin with oregano leaves, salt and pepper.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until nicely browned. Baste chicken with broth from pan. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and loosely tent chicken with foil. Continue baking for an additional hour or until chicken is done (juices run clear and thermometer inserted into the inner thigh registers 165 degrees). If your chicken comes with a pop-up timer trust it.
- Let chicken stand for 15 minutes before carving, preferably 30 minutes.