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Brined and Roasted Chicken with Lemon

Brined and Roasted Chicken with Lemon: Main Image

Quick Facts

Servings: 4
Cook Time: 1 hr. 50 min.
Joanne Weir
Brining infuses chicken with wonderful moisture and is definitely worth the extra effort.


  • 1 whole chicken, 3 1/2 to 4 pounds
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • In large stock pot, combine sugar and salt. Add 8 to 10 cups of water and stir until dissolved. Place chicken in pot. (If chicken isn't submerged completely with water, add additional water just until the chicken is covered.) Cover pot and place in refrigerator for 24 hours.
  • In large frying pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add lemon slices and cook, turning occasionally, until lemons begin to caramelize and turn light golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
  • Preheat oven to 400° F.
  • Using paper towels, dry chicken thoroughly. Using fingers, carefully separate the skin from the flesh of the chicken by running fingers over breast and thigh. Do not tear skin of chicken. Insert lemon slices underneath the skin of the chicken, placing them over the breast and thigh. Place rosemary inside the cavity of the chicken. Brush chicken with olive oil and season outside well with remaining salt and black pepper.
  • Place chicken in oven and bake until it begins to take on color, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° F, and continue to cook until juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, or until meat thermometer registers 180° F, about one hour to one hour and twenty minutes more (depending on size of bird).
  • Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 726
  Calories from Fat 478 (66%)
(82%)Total Fat 53g
(81%)Saturated Fat 16g
Polyunsaturated Fat 10g
Monounsaturated Fat 24g
(67%)Cholesterol 202mg
(45%)Sodium 1090mg
(17%)Potassium 598mg
Total Carbohydrate 19g
(11%)Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 12g
Sugar Alcohols 0g
(89%)Protein 45g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Nutrition facts are calculated by a food expert using nutritional values provided by the USDA for common products used as recipe ingredients. Actual nutritional values may differ depending on the amounts or products used and can be affected by cooking methods.

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The information presented here is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2016.

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