Even if you're only feeding four, it is a good idea to roast two chickens at once. It takes the same amount of time and then you have leftovers to use for sandwiches, soup or salad.

Ruth Cousineau
Source: EatingWell Magazine, September 1997


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Position oven rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Coat a large roasting pan with cooking spray.

  • To prepare chickens: Zest lemons, then cut in half. Combine lemon zest, parsley, thyme, rosemary, garlic, oil, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender; process until finely chopped. Reserve 1/4 cup of the mixture, covered, in the refrigerator for the gravy.

  • Place chicken hearts, necks and gizzards in the prepared pan (reserve livers for another use). Remove excess fat from chickens. Dry insides with a paper towel. With your fingers, loosen skin over breasts and thighs to make pockets, being careful not to tear the skin.

  • Spread 1/4 cup herb mixture in the pan; place the chickens on top, at least 1 inch apart. Rub 1 tablespoon herb mixture into each cavity; spread remaining mixture under skin. Place 2 lemon halves in each cavity. Tuck wings behind the back and tie legs together.

  • Roast the chickens for 20 minutes. Drizzle with 1/4 cup broth and roast for 40 minutes more, basting with pan drippings every 20 minutes. Tent the chickens with aluminum foil and continue roasting for 30 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 180 degrees F and the cavity juices run clear.

  • To prepare gravy: Transfer the chickens to a platter; tent with foil. Pour pan juices into a bowl, leaving giblets in the pan. Chill juices in the freezer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add wine and remaining broth to the pan; bring to a boil over medium heat, scraping up any browned bits. Add any juices accumulated on the platter.

  • Skim fat from the chilled juices. Add juices to the pan; return to a boil, then strain into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Whisk in cornstarch mixture. Simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in reserved herb mixture. Season with pepper.

  • Carve the chickens, discarding skin. Serve with the gravy.


Temperature Check
The best way to determine if poultry is fully cooked is to use an instant-read thermometer. The internal temperature should register 165°F for a whole chicken. (To check, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh.)

Nutrition Facts

161 calories; protein 22.5g 45% DV; carbohydrates 1.1g; exchange other carbs; dietary fiber 0.3g 1% DV; sugars 0.2g; fat 6.5g 10% DV; saturated fat 1.7g 9% DV; cholesterol 66.4mg 22% DV; vitamin a iu 338.3IU 7% DV; vitamin c 6.4mg 11% DV; folate 10.3mcg 3% DV; calcium 19.4mg 2% DV; iron 1.4mg 8% DV; magnesium 21.6mg 8% DV; potassium 243.4mg 7% DV; sodium 234.6mg 9% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 6% DV.

Reviews (8)

Read More Reviews
8 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Love this! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I roasted 2 grain fed hens and it was excellent. I recommend this recipe. Sherry Montreal QC Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This recipe is simple and the chicken came out moist and delicious. Donna Lyons CO Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Very good and moist - but is a time commitment! Liz Austin TX Read More
Rating: 4 stars
The chicken iteslf turned out very well but I didn't like the gravy. Also our chicken didn't have the innards so I roasted the chicken on a bed of celery potatoes onions and carrots. For spices I used basil tarragon fennel seed and coriander seed. We don't store wine so I used beef broth and water for all the basting and stuff. I found that all the liquids didn't run out of the chicken as it was cooking but stayed inside. Leida Calgary AB Read More
Rating: 4 stars
It did not turn out like I had expected it to. To fatty and sticky. Very time consuming. I would not make it again. Heena Atlanta GA Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This recipe is pretty labor intensive but my husband and I agree that it was worth every minute! I looked over at his plate and he had devoured every bite by the time I sat down and was already headed back for seconds. I had a leg cold today straight out of the fridge... it was still DELICIOUS! We will definitely have this again in the near future.:0) Amy Albuquerque NM Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Lemon sauce was awful!!! The sauce was so bad I couldn't swallow it. I love lemon more then any chocolate but not this recipe. Pros: Chicken was good Cons: Very time consuming a waste of time and money!!! Read More