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Roast Lemon Herb Chicken

If you're not familiar with Magnolia Bakery, it is one of the most lovely places for dessert on the planet. The only place more wonderful would probably be the home of Allysa Torey, the bakery's founder. Simply put, her book "At Home with Magnolia" is a must-have. Torey invites you into her home, sharing recipes she makes for her family in New York. Every recipe is divine, and comes out perfect, every time.

I know that everyone has their favorite recipe for roast chicken and that every cookbook has one as well. I guess it's because it's one of those wonderful traditional meals that we all think of when we think of home cooking. I love this recipe because it's an extremely simple, juicy and flavorful roast chicken. And since it's served in its own juices, there's no need to make gravy. (If I'm having six or eight people for dinner, or if I want a lot of leftovers for chicken salad, I just buy two chickens and double the rest of the ingredients.)

-Allysa Torey

RECIPE: Roast Lemon Herb Chicken with Pan Juices

Makes 4 servings


  • One 3- to 4-pound roasting chicken
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1½teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾cup white wine
  • ¾cup chicken stock
  • ¼cup freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  2. Remove the neck and giblets from the chicken. Rinse the chicken with cold water, inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Brush the chicken with the olive oil. Sprinkle evenly with the herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Roast the chicken uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the temperature down to 375ºF. Pour the white wine, chicken stock, and lemon juice over the chicken. Return to the oven and roast, uncovered, basting every 20 minutes, for approximately 1 hour, or until the drumsticks move easily in their sockets and a meat thermometer registers 180ºF when inserted into the outer thigh.
  4. Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer to a carving board. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Serve with the pan juices.

Excerpted from "At Home with Magnolia," © 2006 by Allysa Torey. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Photos: © John Kernick

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