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A No-Fail Classic: Healthy Roast Chicken Recipe

April 26, 2014

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After a long day, few things are more comforting than the savory smells of a roast chicken in the oven, a half-full glass of organic pinot gris, and the sounds of birdsong outside an open window. Fortunately, many elements of this scene are also healthy for us: The melody of birdsong brings calm and renewal, white wine contains antioxidants that can help prevent cancer, and an organic roast chicken recipe provides us with one of the healthiest sources of protein we can consume.

For dinner tonight, why not turn to an all-time favorite and try out this delicious lemon and rosemary roast chicken recipe? Organic, free-range chicken contains the complete vitamin B complex, and it’s particularly strong in heart-healthy vitamin B3, also known as niacin. The vitamin B complex helps energize your body, strengthen your nervous system, and increase red blood cell production. I recommend eating both the dark and white meat of the chicken, since each offers some great nutritional boosts. White meat is richer in potassium and phosphorus, which build strong bones, teeth, and tissues, while the dark meat contains high amounts of immune-boosting zinc and iron. This recipe also incorporates alkalizing lemon as well as rosemary, a natural antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. 

Lemon and Rosemary Roast Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 organic, free-range chicken( approximately 3 lbs)
  • 1 to 4 lemons, according to your taste
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, approximately
  • 3/4 to 1 ounce fresh rosemary
  • 2 or 3 handfuls of kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Remove the innards of the chicken, including the gizzard. You can either save these for another meal or just set them aside for chicken stock. Take handfuls of kosher salt and rub the chicken, both inside and out. Rinse the chicken with cold water, pat dry with some paper towels, and it’s good to go! Place the chicken breast-side-up in a glass cooking pan.
  3. Cut your lemons in half. Squeeze one, two or even three lemons over the chicken. Set at least two of the remaining halves in the pan with the chicken (these caramelized lemons will taste fabulous later on!). Take your remaining un-squeezed lemon halves and slice them lengthwise. Stuff the inside of the chicken with rosemary and the lemon slices.
  4. Drizzle the outside of the chicken with the olive oil, then add salt and pepper. If you have any leftover lemons, zesting them right over the chicken is a great option here if you want an extra zing.
  5. Cook the chicken in the oven for one hour and 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and a thigh (or, if you have a meat thermometer, when the internal temperature reaches 165°F), basting it with the juices in the pan roughly every 30 minutes.
  6. Cover  with tin foil and let it sit for 20 minutes or so before serving. Enjoy!

What are your favorite side dishes to serve with roast chicken? Share with us in the comment section below!