Lemon Cilantro Roast Chicken Recipe

Ah, everyone needs a good, unique roast chicken recipe and do I have a lovely one for you!

I have redeveloped a love for cilantro over the past few years, I had an unfortunate incident with restaurant food that completely overdid it in a meal and for a while I couldn’t look cilantro in the eye without shuddering. I get like that with food, one crummy creme brulee also had me giving them up for years and choosing other dessert options.

Luckily the older I get, the smarter I get -perhaps- and also willing to welcome back into the fold ingredients that I had given up for a while.

This chicken came about because I had to use up cilantro. Lots of cilantro. I made my delicious black bean & avocado salad which uses it and of course, cilantro comes in large bunches. I have mentioned before that I am on a fierce kick to use what I have in my fridge instead of popping to the store and luckily I almost always have good ingredients handy.

This is super simple to make and requires so few ingredients for the taste that you get out of it.  Even cold chicken breast from this roast chicken the next day was just steeped with flavor, making it utterly irresistible for snacking. I snacked and snacked until it was gone, leftover chicken is the best!

Mr Magpie cannot stand food cold, he has to re-heat any leftover meat that we have so he didn’t actually have any of this the next day.

I, on the other hand, can eat cold chicken for breakfast happily. And I most certainly did.

So here’s a question for you, cold or hot for your leftover chicken?

Ingredients Needed for Roast Chicken Recipe

one large roasting chicken

3 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 lemon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbs lemon zest
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

I had little hands happily helping me this recipe. My daughter is absolutely fascinated with raw chicken.

I know. Weird. I am trying to remember if I had the same preoccupation and I am sure I did. Coming from a family that hunted, wild food that was plucked, skinned, filleted in readiness to eat were common. My daughter would have loved my childhood with her innate curiosity.

Take all of your ingredients and puree them in a food processor. Set the lemon halves aside to use later.

Spread the puree underneath the chicken’s skin on top of the breast meat as well as the area beside the chicken thighs and drumsticks. Basically anywhere you can pull the skin up, rub the mixture underneath.

If you have some leftover, rub it on top of the chicken as well.

My daughter did this part with gusto, let me tell you. She rolls up her sleeves, begs and pleads with me using her beautiful blue eyes, promises me that she will wash her hands  and usually wears me down.

Yes. My five year old prepares our roasted chicken.

And I couldn’t be prouder! It’s never too early to teach children how to prepare food and on that note, teach them kitchen hygiene as well.

My daughter knows all about how germy chicken can be, why we don’t touch anything else once we touch raw chicken, she has her route to the sink and soap all mapped out, holding her hands up high like a surgeon getting scrubbed.

Hmm. Maybe as luck will have it, I can look back once she’s a surgeon- or vet- and think of how she practiced on raw chicken.

Place the lemon halves that you set aside in the cavity of the chicken, this steams lemon flavor through it so nicely.

Roast the chicken at 325 in a covered roaster with about 1/3 cup of water in the bottom. When the chicken is is about 20 degrees from being done, uncover the chicken, then continue roasting until finished.

Now, this was a large chicken. About 6-7 lbs, which is normal because I get fresh Hutterite chickens every time they butcher. They have to be the most fantastic chickens out there, plump, juicy and the size of small turkeys.

By leaving the chicken covered for so long, you keep so much moisture in. The last few minutes uncovered is all you need to achieve this golden brown beauty you see below. I can’t stand dry chicken, nothing makes me have a cooking temper tantrum more than ruining a good chicken by overcooking it or having it dry out.

I also don’t have a convection oven – yet!- so this works out well keeping moisture in.

Let the chicken sit for 10 minutes before carving.

This is a perfect meal for a rainy summer day when you can turn on the oven without fear of heating up your house too much.

Happy cooking!

Love,

The Kitchen Magpie

Lemon Cilantro Roast Chicken Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Lemon cilantro chicken, light but packs some serious taste.
Author:
Recipe type: chicken
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • one large roasting chicken
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbs lemon zest
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Take all of your ingredients and puree them in a food processor. Set the lemon halves aside to use later.
  2. Spread the puree underneath the chicken’s skin on top of the breast meat as well as the area beside the chicken thighs and drumsticks. Basically anywhere you you pull the skin up, rub the mixture underneath.
  3. If you have some leftover, rub it on top of the chicken as well.
  4. Place the lemon halves that you set aside in the cavity of the chicken, this steams lemon flavor through it so nicely.
  5. Roast the chicken at 325 in a covered roaster with about ⅓ cup of water in the bottom. When the chicken is is about 20 degrees from being done, uncover the chicken and keep roasting until the final temperature is reached.
  6. Let the chicken sit for 10 minutes before carving.
5 comments
Kristy Ledene
Kristy Ledene

I like to take leftover chicken and put it in pitas with yogurt and dill and veggies. I also have added beans to the chopped chicken, added cumin and chili and some water and warm it up in a pot and it becomes filling for quesidillas, or even just chopped up with celery and green onion for chicken salad sandwiches.

Leslie
Leslie

Oooh, this looks delicious.  The crust on your chicken is perfect--I love the idea of blending all your seasonings beforehand.  Lovely!

Lael
Lael

Drooool! I shall be making that! There is something comforting and wholesome about a whole chicken. I can eat cold food. In fact I usually do because I'm either starving or too lazy to heat it up. Have you ever had cilantro in a smoothie? Very fresh and yummy. And of course healthy too.

Aditya1707
Aditya1707

It's ironic that I'm reading this first thing in the morning.  I could have cold chicken, if it was a chicken salad.  Imagine lemon cliantro chicken in a chicken salad sandwich .... it'll have quite a vietnamese-sub feel to it!

Aditya1707
Aditya1707

ooh, cilantro in a smoothie.  That's certainly new.  For me (coming from India) cilantro is always associated with savory flavors.  Would have to try that out!