Roast Chicken with Fennel & Preserved Lemon

The flavors in this spice rub are reminiscent of Italian gremolata. Turn any leftover meat into a fantastic chicken salad.

Roast Chicken with Fennel & Preserved Lemon
Photo: Leigh Beisch
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 20 mins


  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper, divided

  • 2 tablespoons preserved lemon paste (see Tip)

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 4- to 5-pound whole chicken, giblets removed


  1. Combine fennel seeds, crushed red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder; grind to a powder. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in preserved lemon paste, oil and garlic until combined.

  2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Loosen the skin over the breast and thigh meat and rub the spice mixture under the skin. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper on the chicken. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

  3. Preheat oven to 475°F.

  4. Place the chicken, breast-side up, on a wire rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes.

  5. Reduce oven temperature to 425°. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh without touching bone registers 165°F, about 40 minutes more.

  6. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and let rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.

To make ahead:

Prepare through Step 2; refrigerate chicken for up to 8 hours.


Spice grinder


Make your own preserved citrus paste with this recipe. If you don't want to preserve your own citrus, grab a jar of preserved lemons at the grocery store. Rinse the citrus to remove excess salt. Puree in a food processor or blender. Refrigerate the paste for up to 1 year.

Associated Recipe:

Preserved Citrus Paste

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

170 Calories
7g Fat
1g Carbs
24g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 170
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Protein 24g 48%
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 78mg 26%
Sodium 374mg 16%
Potassium 310mg 7%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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