Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken

february 15, 2018

lemon rosemary roasted chicken


This winter my perennial herbs really took a hit. After a few chilly spells, the thyme has the color and consistency of slimy sea kelp. In milder winters I have been able to harvest oregano for weeks after the first frost. This winter, all I have left is one herb —  a few scraggly spears of rosemary on my plants, and the most viable went toward today’s Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken. The house needed a really comforting aroma before guests arrived, and the rosemary contributed to the illusion I had been cooking all day. In reality there is nothing easier than roasting chicken thighs. No pan sear, no fuss, just marinate for a bit in the lemon garlic rosemary magic, roast and there you have it. A simple rustic meal emboldened with the bite of pickled hot peppers, on a creamy base of whatever suits your taste.

lemon rosemary roasted chicken

lemon rosemary roasted chicken

keep chicken skin uncovered and avoid overcrowding in the pan for the most crispy, flavorful skin


To keep this dish paleo friendly and lower in starchy carbohydrates, substitute unsweetened pickled peppers for the peppadews, which are packed with a little sugar, and prepare a creamy base of mashed cauliflower or sweet potato. I was in a a starchy mood, so the accompanying pictures feature parmesan polenta. Add a simply dressed salad for greenery and your guests will feel as if they have dined in a Mediterranean countryside cafe.

lemon rosemary roasted chicken

Chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat and skin, contribute to the sauce and deliver a moist, tender meal; you could, of course, use skin-on chicken breast in this recipe, but I  wager your tastes would cross over to the dark side if you just had one bite of this dinner. Leaving the skin uncovered yields a crisp, burnished crust. For long-braised chicken dishes like Coq au Vin, I prefer to remove the skin because when covered and braised, the skin becomes flabby and soft. There are very few things I do not eat, and flabby chicken skin is one. I’m whining.

lemon rosemary roasted chicken

So let’s look on the bright side! No slippery skin—only good flavors here, and a meal of eight chicken thighs which can feed four to eight folks, depending on appetite. These days I am content with just a little protein, so one chicken thigh and lots of side vegetables are my choice. If rosemary isn’t your thing, any  green herb will do, like thyme, tarragon or basil. Garlic + lemon + herbs = heavenly aromas no matter how you roll.

Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken                                                                              lemon rosemary roasted chicken

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes four to eight servings


eight bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat and skin
½ cup fresh lemon juice (from about two large lemons)
2 large garlic cloves, zested or finely minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary (or other herb of choice)
8 pickled peppadew peppers, cut into halves*
kosher salt
coarsely ground black pepper
*to make this dish paleo-friendly, use pickled hot peppers (like cherry) packed without any sugar


  1. Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and rosemary in small bowl.
  2. Arrange chicken thighs in nonreactive (stainless steel or glass) baking dish or heavy saute pan close together, pour lemon mixture over chicken and toss well to coat.
  3. At room temperature, marinate chicken, turning every 15 minutes, for one hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees,
  5. Arrange thighs skin side up, scatter peppadew halves (keeping chicken skin uncovered), sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper and roast one hour without turning.
  6. There will be a nice, fragrant sauce surrounding the chicken thighs —spoon this over your choices of sides like parmesan polenta, rice, cauliflower rice, mashed sweet potatoes, etc.


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