Lemon Herb Chicken Breast

Look at this beautiful platter of roasted chicken!  I definitely had big eyes when I was shopping for chicken breasts, they were much bigger than I imagined, so huge and meaty!  Enough for dinner with leftovers for sandwiches the next day.

It can be a challenge to cook chicken breast without drying it out.  That’s why bone in, skin on chicken breasts are a great choice for roasting.  The butter and herb rub gives the chicken a nice, crispy skin and helps retain moisture.  Size matters for cook time, so be sure to use a thermometer to check the internal temperature.

I used fresh herbs from my garden to make the herb butter.  The minced sage, thyme and rosemary pair so well with poultry.  If using dried herbs, reduce the quantity to 1 tbsp.

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The roasting pan you see in the pictures was my mother’s.  Never used, still in the package when I inherited it over 35 years ago, it’s still going strong.  No doubt it came from one of her beloved catalogs that were popular back in the day.  If you are looking for something similar, here’s one that you can order from Amazon.


  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 whole chicken breasts
  • 5 oz. butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. fresh herbs, minced (I used sage, rosemary and thyme)
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning (I like this one)
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • cooking spray


Preheat the oven to 350º and mist the roasting pan and rack with cooking spray.  Arrange the aromatics (onion, celery and carrots) in the bottom of the pan.  Place the rack in the pan.

Combine the softened butter, olive oil, minced herbs and Italian seasoning and mash together with a fork.  Rub the mixture over the chicken breasts and top each with a slice of lemon.  Place the chicken breasts on the rack.

Add one cup of water to the bottom of the pan and roast uncovered for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 170º (again, use a thermometer).

Transfer to a serving dish and serve.

Notes ♪♫ Don’t discard all those goodies in the bottom of the pan.  I like to toss it all into a pot with the chicken bones to make soup stock.  Nothing goes to waste, and you get a second meal!

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Oven Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters

You are going to love this easy roast chicken dinner.  Leg quarters are an inexpensive option and provide a hefty portion for big appetites (we ate half for dinner and saved the rest for lunch the next day).  For this preparation, I sear the leg quarters in olive oil then finish in the oven using a roasting pan with rack.  The result, moist juicy meat with a crispy skin!

Tip  **Place onion slices under chicken to keep it from sticking to a roasting rack, this works on the grill as well**

Dinner for 2

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Preheat the oven to 325º.  Cut the onion into 4 thick slices.  Heat a stainless steel skillet with olive oil and place the leg quarters skin side down for several minutes to get some color.  Don’t crowd the pan, brown the leg quarters one at a time if needed.

Set up a roasting pan with rack.  Mist the rack with cooking spray and arrange the onion slices, 2 on each side.  Lay chicken over the onion slices and sprinkle generously with seasoning of choice, then paprika.

Insert a meat thermometer into the chicken.  Bake for 1-1/2 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 170º.

I served it with oven fries and green beans.  An excellent meal!

Notes: ♪♫  The roasting pan you see in this post belonged to my mother.  Never used, it passed down to me and decades later it became a part of my kitchen collection.  Although I could not locate this exact model, here is a similar style pan that you can purchase.

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Whole Roast Chicken

Everyone loves a traditional roast chicken dinner.  Roasting a whole chicken is easy and makes a beautiful presentation.  Learn how to prepare a bird that is crisp on the outside, moist and juicy on the inside.  Lemon, garlic and fresh herbs star in this family favorite.


  • 6 pound roasting chicken
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • several sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • cooking spray


Wash and dry the lemons and herbs.  Zest both lemons, and cut in half.  Peel the garlic cloves and slowly warm them in the olive oil over lowest possible heat.  A simmer mat is great for this application.  Turn the cloves every 10 minutes until they are soft and lightly browned.

Leave the butter standing at room temperature until softened.  Mince half of the rosemary and thyme and add to the butter along with the lemon zest.

Preheat the oven to 425º.  Remove the giblets packet from the chicken.  Rinse the chicken, inside and out and pat dry.

Mist a large roasting pan with cooking spray and set the chicken breast side up.  Fit as many pieces of lemon as you can into the cavity of the chicken, along with the garlic cloves and remaining rosemary and thyme sprigs.

Rub the butter mixture all over the chicken, be sure to coat the wings and legs.  Tie the legs together.  Quarter the onion and tuck slices under the chicken, along with any extra pieces of lemon.

Roast uncovered for 1-1/2 hours, or until a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165º.

The skin should be nicely browned.  Let it rest 10 minutes before carving.

Can you see how moist the meat is?  We had a great dinner, with leftovers for several more meals.  The remnants went into the crock-pot for soup.

Not only was this a wonderful dinner, but you can see what a value the chicken was!  Many servings, nothing wasted.

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