Perfect Roast Chicken with Lemon Herb Pan Sauce

Story by Holly
Perfect Roast Chicken with Lemon Herb Pan Sauce
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Perfect Roast Chicken with Lemon and Herb Pan Sauce

This Perfect Roast Chicken with Lemon and Herb Pan Sauce will soon become your family’s favorite weeknight dinner. It’s juicy and flavorful, with a buttery lemon and herb pan sauce that comes together quickly for a classic dinner that will have everyone who tastes it wowed.

Roast chicken is obviously a classic dinner dish and making it is really quite simple, but how do you make the best roast chicken? And how do you make it as simple as possible, so that you can enjoy it over and over again for any occasion, with very little fuss? 

I am glad you asked, because I just so happen to have the answer and it’s this recipe for Easy Roasted Chicken with lemon and herb pan sauce

How do I make the best roast chicken?

Roasting the perfect chicken is not at all difficult to master, so don't let it intimidate you. 

The perfect roasted chicken can be achieved in just a few easy steps.

  1. Buy a chicken (any size will do) and any of the other fresh ingredients you don’t already have on hand. 
  2. Prepare your bird. Rinse, pat dry, and remove any leftover bits in the cavity. 
  3. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. 
  4. Bake the chicken in a preheated oven.
  5. Turn the chicken’s pan drippings into the most fabulous “gravy” by adding a few simple ingredients, including my favorite...BUTTER.  
Perfect Roast Chicken with Lemon Herb Pan Sauce

How long does it take to roast a chicken?

Once you’ve got your ingredients and you’ve prepped that chicken, it’s time to pop it in the oven. Cook time varies depending on a few different variables, such as:

  • How big your chicken is
  • How cold your chicken is when you put it in the oven (We recommend letting your chicken sit on your counter for 30 mins before cooking it.) 
  • At what temperature you cook your bird

What temperature do I cook a chicken at?

Many recipes suggest cooking your chicken in an oven that is between 350°-375°, with a higher temp period of 450° at the beginning or end of the cook time. However, I prefer to simplify it by roasting it at 375° F. the entire time. 15-20 mins per pound will do. I start checking the chicken during the last 20 mins of my planned cook time for doneness. (There’s nothing worse than a chicken that has cooked too long in the oven.)

When the internal temperature reaches 165°  F and the juices run clear, your chicken is ready. I like to rest the chicken for 10 mins before slicing into it to keep all those delicious juices sealed inside. This method results in a perfectly juicy on the inside, deliciously crispy skin on the outside bird every time. 

Perfect Roast Chicken with Lemon Herb Pan Sauce

How do I make a perfect pan sauce from roast chicken drippings?

This recipe for perfect roast chicken with a lemon and herb pan sauce is so easy to make.

For the “gravy” you’ll want to have on hand:

  • A dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • Fresh or dried thyme and parsley
  • Plenty of garlic
  • Lemon 
  • The key ingredient...butter (and a lot of it) 

First, you’ll want to remove the chicken from the pan. Then, tip the pan and skim off the fat from the drippings. Deglaze the pan with the wine, making sure you lift all the flavorful bits off the bottom. Simmer the aromatics like the herbs and garlic, then turn off you heat and add the cold butter. This will create a luscious and creamy butter pan sauce to accompany your chicken- which is my favorite way to serve it.

Perfect Roast Chicken with Lemon Herb Pan Sauce

Now that you're ready, let’s complete the meal. 

What should I serve with my Roast Chicken?

These Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes make a classic partner for your roast chicken. 

These Hasselback Potatoes with Garlic and Herb Butter are a little trickier to make, but totally worth the effort.

This Red Cabbage and Apple Slaw is one of my favorite recipes to make and serve alongside everything. It’s fresh, healthy and flavorful.

These Brown Buttered Glazed Carrots make a sweet and simple side dish.

Love a Simple Butter Lettuce Salad? This one is my favorite.

This Jeweled Rice is fun and flavorful.

Our Crispy Roasted Potatoes with Gremolata are herby and deliciously crispy. 

I hope this Perfect Roast Chicken with lemon and herb pan sauce makes you a believer in a simple weeknight dinner that is fancy enough to serve to any guest, on any occasion. 

Perfect Roast Chicken with Lemon Herb Pan Sauce

If you make this Perfect Roast Chicken with lemon and herb pan sauce recipe, we’d love to hear about it! Be sure to snap a photo, add it to your Instagram feed or stories and tag @themodernproper and #themodernproper if you do. Also, feel free to leave a comment on the post and tell your friends where you discovered the recipe! 

Perfect Roast Chicken with Lemon Herb Pan Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 (4-5 lb) whole chicken, gizzards and neck removed
3 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
½ tbsp garlic powder
1 cup dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc
1 tbsp thyme
6 garlic cloves
3 tbsp flat leaf parsley, minced
1 tbsp lemon juice, from 1 small lemon
6 tbsp butter, cold

Method

  1. 1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Rinse the chicken and pat dry.
  3. If you'd like to truss your chicken, HERE is a good tutorial.
  4. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  5. Set the seasoned chicken into an oven safe baking pan (we prefer cast iron), baking dish or roasting pan. Place it in the heated oven for 15-20 minutes per pound. We begin checking for doneness at 15 minutes per pound. There's nothing worse than an over cooked roast chicken.
  6. When the internal temperature of the thickest part of your chicken reaches 165° F. and the juices run clear, you can remove it from the oven. Rest the chicken for 10 mins before slicing into it to keep all those delicious juices sealed inside.
  7. If you are baking your chicken in a cast iron pan, simply move it to a burner and turn the heat to medium. If you are using a baking dish or roasting pan, transfer the drippings to a small saucepan.
  8. Tip the pan slightly and skim the oily fat off the top of the drippings.
  9. Add in garlic and thyme and saute over medium heat until fragrant.
  10. Add the wine and bring to a simmer until reduced by half.
  11. Remove the pan from heat and working with 1 tbsp at a time whisk in cold butter. Once incorporated add in lemon juice and parsley.
  12. Serve the pan sauce warm with roasted chicken.