Saturday, February 8, 2014

Thyme & Lemon Roasted Chicken

Roasted whole chickens are becoming a staple dinner in our house lately.  Although it takes a bit of time to cook, it is really easy to make and you can pop it in the oven and not have to do anything else to it until you are ready to eat. With the skin removed, this is a healthy and delicious meal (especially paired with lots of vegetables for sides) and makes plenty for a night of leftovers the next day for us.  Stuffing the chicken with fresh thyme, lemon and garlic infuses so much flavor into the meat, and it comes out of the oven very juicy so no unhealthy toppings, like gravy, are needed at all! 

We had a bunch of vegetables in our refrigerator that I needed to use up so we had the roasted carrots that I tossed in with the chicken, as well as some steamed broccoli and roasted red potatoes. To roast the potatoes, I just cut them into 1-inch pieces, seasoned them with a little salt, pepper and olive oil and baked them, uncovered at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Thyme & Lemon Roasted Chicken


Whole organic free range roasting chicken (about 5-6 pounds)
Salt and pepper, for seasoning
1 large bunch fresh organic thyme
1 lemon, halved
1 whole head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 pound organic carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
Olive oil, for tossing with carrots


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Remove giblets and wash chicken, inside and out, and pat dry. Liberally season with salt and pepper, inside and out. Stuff cavity with thyme, both halves of lemon and head of garlic. Brush outside of chicken with canola oil. Place chicken on roasting rack and tie legs together with kitchen twine. Tuck wings under body. Place carrots in bottom of roasting pan and toss with salt, pepper and olive oil. Place roasting rack with chicken in roasting pan over carrots.

3. Roast chicken, uncovered, in preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until juices run clear when cut between leg and thigh. Remove from oven and let rest on a platter, covered with foil, for about 10 minutes before slicing.

(Recipe adapted from Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken recipe on

What are the nutritional benefits of this meal? Chicken is an excellent source of protein and is rich in B vitamins. Canola oil is the lowest in saturated fat of any oil, and is rich in healthy unsaturated fats. Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of potassium. Leaving the skin on the potatoes adds a good amount of fiber as well. Broccoli is packed with vitamins C and K, and is also a good source of folate and calcium. Carrots are very high in vitamin A (with one cup providing over 400% of the daily value), and they are also an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to help lower bad cholesterol (LDL), raise good cholesterol (HDL), and aid in blood sugar control.

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