Lemon Rosemary Roast Chicken (Or how to make three meals at once)

I think I finally found the perfect Roast Chicken recipe. Between lemon, butter, rosemary and thyme, as well as the organic chicken, there’s a lot to love.

When I took these pictures, I was making four chickens for three meals at one time — two chicken dinners for new moms in our parish, and one 2-chicken dinner for us and my visiting in-laws.
Making oven roasted herb and butter chicken recipe

The main ingredients are chicken, softened butter, whole lemons, fresh rosemary sprigs, fresh thyme, and a little salt and pepper.

Start by zesting the lemons and mincing the herbs. Add lemon zest and herbs to the softened butter.

roast chicken butter rosemary 1

Mix together the butter mix (I used my hands while wearing culinary gloves) until it’s well blended.

Juice the lemons.

roast chicken butter rosemary 2

Rub the butter mix under the skin, into the cavities, on the outside of the chicken, in its creases — basically, all over until you run out of butter.

roast chicken butter rosemary 3

Pour the lemon juice over the chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place lemon halves and 2 rosemary sprigs in the cavity. Bake at 425 (regular) or 400 (convection) for 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes (depending on size of chicken).

roast chicken butter rosemary 4

Or, add a homemade seasoned rice mix, veggies or other sides and deliver to a family near you to cook at their convenience. This simple recipe and the make-ahead method has been a huge breakthrough for me in making meals for moms. In addition to the two I made when taking these pictures, I recently made another four chicken dinners this way, delivering three in one day and freezing the other for later use.

As we prepare for our own new baby, I am looking forward to making this and other recipes and stocking up our freezer.

Recipe for Once Roast Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken, pat dry
  • 2/3 cup butter, soft
  • 3 lemons
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Zest two lemons.
  3. Finely chop leaves from one sprig rosemary and one sprig thyme.
  4. Combine butter, lemon zest, herbs and salt/pepper in a  bowl, mixing well.
  5. Smear butter mixture in and on the chicken.
  6. Cut lemons in half and juice one, pouring juice over the chicken.
  7. Fill cavity with lemon halves and remaining herb sprigs.
  8. Roast chicken for 45 minute to 1 hr 15 minutes, until 165 degrees F.
  9. Carve and serve!

Thanks  to the Pioneer Woman for the original recipe, and to my husband for helping me make meals for new moms in record time.


Quick Takes on Pumpkin and Paint

So many random things to write about, so little time!

7_quick_takes post

1. I made pumpkin puree last week (or was it the week before?) We later made that puree into pies, with my brother’s help; but today I made this collage depicting the puree-making process and my sense of accomplishment increased mightily:

homemade pumpkin puree

I’m just tickled that readers can get the picture, so to speak, without having to scroll, scroll, scroll. I see a future full of photo collages. Thank you, picmonkey.

2. I have to leave soon to take Patrick to reading/ educational/ occupational therapy. It’s a combination of physical therapy and focused tutoring. He works better for the therapist than he does for me, but we have homework to do throughout the week and he’s getting better about it. They recommended 100 sessions to adequately address his learning challenges. 100 sessions?! 1 down; 99 to go… if our stamina and budget last.

3. Our basement guest room has been slowing evolving from an unfinished area in the basement to a bona fide room with doors, trim on the window, and an actual bed.


guestroom before pic

This was after the curtain was added, so already an improvement. But now:

room makeover

Yes — another collage! I told you. Now it’s not finished yet, and typically the futon is set up as a sofa and adds more color (reds) to the palate, but you get the idea. Paint helps!! Still needs more trim and some paint removed from the floor; as well as art/ wall decor. Huge improvement though.

4. It’s definitely a low budget decor project. Frugal living at its finest! Sources for my home decor items pictured above:

  • bed & dresser from someone in the parish giving them away
  • rugs and decorative pillows from Target clearance
  • aqua lamp from flea market ($2); brown lamp on dresser from target (also 70% clearance)
  • rocking chair from yard sale
  • Ikea chair a hand me down from my aunt
  • wire basket on dresser from Hobby Lobby

5. I’m really looking forward to meeting my sweet niece, my brother’s first baby, at her baptism this weekend. I can’t wait to hold her. She is so cuddly and smiley in the pictures though she’s only 6 weeks old.

6. I really wish we had better grocery shopping options in our small town. We’re limited to a Wal-Mart and a regular grocery store (Martin’s). I do most of my grocery shopping at Costco, Sharp Shopper and Trader Joe’s, as well as through food co-ops, local vegetable farm, and a local beef ranch. It’s just always a drive to get t better shopping options.

7. I need to shower and get dressed!! Happy Friday!


Linking up with Jen!