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Roast Chicken with Lemons and Fennel


Roasting is the easiest way to cook a chicken. For maximum browning, use a rimmed baking sheet instead of a high-sided roasting pan. Create a complete meal by cooking vegetables alongside the bird.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, May 2009


  • 1 chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), rinsed and patted dry (liver and giblets discarded)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 lemons, halved or quartered
  • 2 to 3 fennel bulbs (2 1/2 pounds total), cored, stalks discarded, and cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken on a large rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Place a lemon half in cavity. Using kitchen twine, tie legs together. Add fennel and remaining lemons to sheet and toss with oil.

  2. Roast until juices run clear when chicken is pierced between breast and leg, or an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of a thigh (avoiding bone) registers 165, 60 to 70 minutes, basting chicken with pan juices and tossing fennel halfway through.

  3. Transfer chicken to a platter and cover loosely with foil; let rest 10 minutes. Carve chicken. Serve with fennel and lemons.

Cook's Notes

There are several ways to test chicken for doneness. For a whole or cut-up chicken, you can use an instant-read thermometer or pierce the chicken and see if the juices run clear. For thin pieces of chicken, simply cut into the center and check if the meat is opaque.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MS10755027
    22 FEB, 2013
    Wow an instant favorite. this is my second time and it's just as good and so easy.
  • kellih77
    22 MAY, 2009
    this was delicious, I did not have a whole chicken so I used bone-in chicken thighs I soaked them in salt water all day rinsed well and followed the rest of the instructions exactly and this was the best chicken we have had in a long time and very easy.
  • Tanzie
    30 APR, 2009
    in the magazine this has over 600 calories per serving. Any ideas how to cut it down?
  • marketmaster
    28 APR, 2009
    Use the stalks under the chicken to raise it off the pan and add flavor.