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Lemon Thyme Roasted Chicken

Lemon Thyme Roasted Chicken - So many wonderful things about this roast chicken recipe…it doesn’t require a fridge full of ingredients, it’s quick and easy to assemble, and the meat turns out tender and juicy while the skin stays golden brown and crispy.

Course Entree
Cuisine American
Keyword Chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 10 people
Calories 401 kcal
Author Holly Sander - Adapted From Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa At Home


  • 2 roasting chickens, 5-6 pounds each
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 pound carrots cut diagonally into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 large yellow onions thickly sliced
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 1 large bunch of fresh thyme, leaves removed and then chopped (discard the stems)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted (1/2 stick)


  1. Remove the chicken giblets.  Rinse the chickens inside and out.  Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers, and pat the outside dry.  Liberally salt the outside of both chickens, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour in the fridge. 

  2. Meanwhile, cut up carrots, slice onions, quarter the lemons, & chop the thyme.

  3. After an hour, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Remove the plastic wrap and pat the chickens with paper towel to remove all excess moisture.

  4. Sprinkle the inside of each chicken cavity with salt and pepper, then add thyme and quartered lemons (4 lemon quarters per chicken) to the cavity as well.

  5. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chickens. Place in the roasting pan, then brush the outside of the chickens with 2 tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  6. Place the carrots and onions around the rest of the pan.

  7. Roast the chickens for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.  Use a meat thermometer to be sure the internal cook temp has reached at least 165F.

  8. Remove the chickens and vegetables from the oven.  Allow the chickens to rest for 15-20 minutes, carve and serve on a platter with the vegetables and gravy if desired (see recipe below).