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Easy Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

This is the ULTIMATE roast chicken dinner! Chicken pieces are baked until golden and crispy in a vibrant lemon marinade that does double duty as a sauce. With only 35 minutes of cooking time, it’s quick enough for weeknights, but elegant enough for special occasions. You’ll need a quartered chicken for this recipe, or you can use 4 bone-in chicken pieces (see the Tips below). The sauce will turn quite dark as it cooks, but don’t worry, those dark bits give it incredible flavor. Serve this chicken alongside homemade grits, creamy mashed potatoes and/or a simple green salad (see above for more serving ideas). If you’re anything like me, you’ll want some crusty bread on hand to mop up the lemon sauce!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked lemon garlic chicken, lemon garlic roast chicken recipe, lemon garlic roasted chicken
Servings: 4 -6 people

Ingredients

  • Oil or cooking spray, for baking dish
  • 1 3 ½ - 4 lb whole chicken, backbone removed and quartered (or 4 bone-in chicken breasts or 4 whole chicken legs)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 ½ - 2 large lemons)
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • cup olive oil

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450˚F (230˚C). 
  • Lightly oil a large baking dish (9x13-inches or larger). Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken in the dish.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic and oregano. Whisk in the olive oil. Drizzle half of the marinade over the top of the chicken pieces. Let sit 15-30 minutes.
  • Roast the chicken for 20 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven and stir up any brown bits on the bottom of the dish with a rubber spatula (some of the juices will look quite dark but don’t worry!). Drizzle the remaining marinade over the top of the chicken. Continue roasting the chicken until the juices run clear (an instant read thermometer inserted into the thigh meat should read 165˚F), about 15-20 minutes longer.
  • Transfer the chicken pieces to a cutting board or plate and let them rest for 10 minutes. Stir the sauce on the bottom of the baking dish (it will look dark in places).
  • Transfer the chicken back into the baking dish and spoon some of the pan sauce over top. Serve the chicken straight from the dish, or, if you prefer, transfer the chicken to a platter and serve the sauce alongside.

Notes

Storage: Leftover chicken can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Use it in salads, sandwiches and/or soups!
Tips:
  • You’ll need a quartered chicken for this recipe. You can ask your butcher to quarter it for you, or you can buy chicken pieces. You’ll need two bone-in breasts and two whole chicken legs (drumsticks + thighs). OR you can use four bone-in breasts or four legs.
  • You can also use 6-8 bone-in chicken thighs instead! Roast the thighs for 15 minutes, stir the sauce as directed, then roast them for 10-15 minutes longer, or until the juices run clear.
  • This chicken gets baked in a large baking dish (it will need to be at least 9x13-inches). If your chicken pieces are quite large and don’t fit, use two smaller baking dishes instead. 
  • You can serve the chicken pieces whole or you can cut them into smaller pieces. To do that, let the chicken rest after cooking, then use a sharp knife to cut the breasts in half crosswise and separate the thighs from the drumsticks.  
  • I love to serve the chicken straight from the baking pan, right in sauce, but you can transfer it it to a serving platter if you prefer.
  • If you prefer to skim the sauce of fat, pour it into a measuring cup, let it sit, then spoon off and discard the fat on top. 
  • Try this roast chicken with a one-bowl green salad or a pear and gorgonzola salad!