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Lemon-Thyme Roast Chicken by Eileen Campbell

July 1, 2011 by HealthyFamilies BC

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Lemon-Thyme Roast Chicken by Eileen Campbell

A roast chicken that is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside is hard to beat.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour


  • 1 whole roasting chicken (5 to 6 lbs/2.5 to 3 kg)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • l/4 cup olive oil (50 mL)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme (25 mL)
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper (5 ml)
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt

1. Prepare chicken by trimming excess fat from body or cavity. Rinse inside and out under cold running water and pat dry.

2. In a bowl large enough to hold the chicken, whisk together garlic, olive oil, thyme, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt to taste. Place chicken in bowl and turn to coat completely, inside and out. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C) and remove top rack.

3. Place chicken on rack in roasting pan and baste with marinade. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°F (190°C) and roast for 11/2 to 2 hours (depending on the size of the chicken) or until skin is dark golden and crispy drumsticks wiggle when touched, and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh registers 185°F (85°C). Remove from oven and let rest, tented with foil, for 10 to 15 minutes before canning. (This allows the juices to redistribute and provides a much moister chicken.)

Using a V-shaped rack is an excellent and healthy way to roast chicken. The open cavity of the chicken is placed over the rack, allowing the chicken to roast upright. lt you don't have a V-shaped rack, you can just place the chicken in the roasting pan. However, the overall result is better with the rack - the chicken skin crisps all around, and any excess fat drips off into the pan.

Try other seasoning combinations for this roast chicken. Make it intemational by using Marrakech Rub, tandoori paste or a mixture of hoisin and chili sauces. Fora onedish meal, add cubed root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, potatoes and turnips, around the chicken for the last hour of cooking. For the last 10 minutes of cooking, add apple or pear slices.

For a great Sunday dinner add Oven-Roasted Lemon Potatoes and steamed broccoli.


  • Calories: 233
  • Protein: 24 g
  • Fat: 14.5 g
  • Carbohydrate: 2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.3 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Sodium: 74 mg
  • Very high in: niacin, vitamin B6,
  • High in: pantothenic acid, zinc
  • Source of: vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B12, magnesium, iron

Reprinted with permission © Simply Great Food. Dietitians of Canada. 2007. Published by Robert Rose Inc.

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