Roast Chicken #1 (Honey-lemon)

Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken

“Why the number 1?” you might ask. Well roast chicken is such an integral part of the Jewish family kitchen I am confident that the heathens will produce multiple roast chicken recipes.  Roast chicken is a staple of Friday night dinners and holidays alike. This most likely has to do with the fact that kosher chicken was more readily available and cheaper than beef, and this has become the case once again as well. I tend to eschew meat and poultry that has been produced using factory or CAFO farming practices ,and given the propensity of these practices and a rash of other embarrassing scandals in the kosher slaughter business, I almost never buy kosher meat these day . That aside, kosher chicken has one distinct advantage: the salting process essentially makes it pre-brined.  So if you don’t feel like going through the hassle of brining, which I believe is a must, get yourself a kosher chicken. If you want to brine your own, I suggest the Cooks Illustrated Basics of Brining guide, which is free for download.

Today I have discovered that the level of attraction between brine and my kitchen floor is intractable. For the third time in about six months I have spilled several quarts of brine, soaking my throw rugs. This may have a bit more to do with my bumblebee attention span and propensity to forget to  close the jumbo zip-top bags I use for brining, before I walk away to get my meat. But a load of laundry and a second batch of brine got me back on track. One particularly handy piece of kitchen gear when roasting a chicken is (surprise) a roasting pan with a rack.  You can go crazy and spend  anywhere from $25 to $200 on a pan, but I think ones in the $50-75 are your best bet, giving you a good sized pan with a v-shaped rack. If you don’t have the cash to shell out for a pan you can also just make balls of aluminum foil to prop your chicken up off the bottom of the pan.

Last week I came into a large jar of local honey , my sweet tooth has yet to dissipate and my rosemary bushes went crazy this summer, so I decided to do a honey-lemon-rosemary chicken.

recipe after the jump

Honey Rosemary Lemon Roast Chicken


  • 1 whole kosher or brined chicken, patted dry
  • 2 Tbs butter (softened)
  • 2 Tbs fresh rosemary
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 C. honey
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Place your roasting pan in the oven and preheat to 375°F
  2. Mix butter and rosemary together. Using you fingers loosen the skin on the breasts and back of the chicken and tuck bits of the butter and rosemary under the skin. Rub the remaining butter mix on the outside and in the cavity of the chicken.
  3. Juice the lemon and combine the lemon juice with the honey so it can be brushed on the chicken. Heat the honey in the microwave for about 15 seconds if it won’t combine. Stuff the leftover lemon rinds into the chicken cavity.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and place your rack in it. Place the chicken on the rack on its side with the wing up. Roast for 15 minutes
  5. Rotate the chicken to the opposite side with the wing up. Roast for 15 minutes.
  6. Brush the chicken with half the honey-lemon mixture and place the chicken breast side up. Turn oven to 450°F and roast until a thermometer in the breast registers 160°. Brush with the remaining honey-lemon mix halfway through the final roast. (Depending on the size of your chicken the final roast will take between 20-35 minutes.)
  7. Trasnfer chicken to ta cutting board. Let rest for about 10 minutes then carve and serve.


Filed under Gadgets and Gear, Kashrut, Meat, Shabbat

6 responses to “Roast Chicken #1 (Honey-lemon)

  1. Evan

    I just stumbled upon this…makes me long for our days in the kitchen at hillel. We should get together and cook sometime soon (Dafna, you can skype in).

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