Perfect Lemon Roasted Chicken by Ina Garten | Party Planning Recipes | Simple Dinner Party Ideas

This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten, or Barefoot Contessa. This is my go-to roasted chicken recipe because it works every time. It’s tasty and doesn’t require anything too fancy. 

It takes about 1 ½ hours to cook the chicken from start to finish. 
I made this for one of my meal prep clients. She was having over 8 guests, so I made 3 small chickens (3-4 lb. chickens). If you’re just serving 2 of 4 of you, decrease the recipe by 1/3. 
I roasted the chickens and then cut each chicken into 6 pieces (2 legs with thigh, 2 breast with wing, 2 breast with rib). So, there was a total of 18 pieces of chicken to choose from. They were smaller pieces to choose from, so it worked out perfect. 

Here is the menu I served: 

Rotisserie Lemon Chicken (8 portions)
Tabuli Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Green onion, lemon, parsley, mint, cucumber and tomatoes, 
Roasted Potato Medley, sweet potato and fingerling

How to Prepare for a Dinner Party: 

I made everything about 4 hours before guests came. So, everything was FULLY COOKED. This is super important when you are hosting a dinner party. The last thing you want to worry about is if the chicken is cooked or not when you’re busy entertaining guests. Just fully cook it beforehand, and warm it up when guests arrive. That goes for any dinner party. Always fully cook foods so all you have to do is warm them. You want to enjoy your guests, not be slaving in the kitchen. 
So, I cooked it a couple hours before, and then cooled down the food and put it in the fridge to keep it at a safe temperature. 
Then, 30 minutes before guests came, I told my client to put it in the oven for 20 minutes at 425 F. She had a large roasting pan, so she put the potatoes on the bottom, and fully cooked, portioned chicken on top with some of the chicken juices. 
All she had to do is take it out of the oven,  and take it to the table. 
It came out amazing. She decorated it with some rosemary. 
I hope these simple tips make your party planning easier. 

Here’s the  adapted recipe from Ina Garten that I use. I don’t bother to make the sauce. I just serve it with the chicken juices, strained. 

Perfect Roast Chicken

  • 3 3-4pound roasting chickens
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large bunch fresh thyme
  • 3 lemon, halved
  • 3 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 Spanish onion, thickly sliced
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan.  Bring the chicken out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before roasting if possible. It helps it cook more evenly. 
  3. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavities with 1 bunch of thyme, both halves of the lemon in each, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Scatter the onion slices around the chicken.
  4. Roast the chicken for 1-1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. 
  5. Let chicken rest at least 15 minutes before cutting, or up to 45 minutes. 
  6. Cut the chicken up by removing the legs and thigh first. Then, cut down the backbone to divide the breasts. Cut each breast in half so one half of the breast has a wing. Serve with strained chicken juices. Discard onions. 

Keep Cookin’

Chef Joanna | Chef Joanna’s Kitchen



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