Roast Chicken with Butter, Lemon & Rosemary


Last weekend at the Marketman’s Family home was like Santa’s workshop hours before his departure on Christmas Eve. We were crazed. And admittedly it was totally chix3our own doing. We put up the lights outdoors right after the storm, we put up the tree indoors and other décor. We prepped the gingerbread village set-up, made the gingerbread and baked the pieces. We wrapped tons of presents for delivery to sukis, service staff, relatives, etc. We baked over 80 tortas with golden raisins soaked in fine rum, 250+ budbud kabogs, wrapped our food gifts, made out the cards, and on Monday delivered everything. We are sending our holiday gifts out early because of the dinners that are coming up and houseguests that have arrived. As menu plans go fast and furious for the upcoming dinners, we seek comfort in simple yet satisfying meals at home and there are few things more comforting than a nicely roasted chicken. I have featured several variations on the roast chicken theme before, a Citrus and Ginger Roasted Chicken, a Turbo Chicken and a Roast Chicken with Lemon and Herbs (predominantly thyme, my favorite with fowl). This chicken was inspired the brilliant looking rosemary at the market yesterday and I paired that with a whole lemon and some butter…

To make, rinse out the chicken and pat it dry with some paper towels. Salt and pepper the cavity of the chicken very well. Add some sprigs of rosemary and a whole lemon. chix3Add rosemary to the front cavity as well. Next, take small cubes or slices of butter and gently insert the butter between the skin and meat. I know, it sounds like something on the verge of animal abuse, but trust me, the chicken can’t feel it anymore. Get about 3 tablespoons of butter between the skin and the meat; make sure to tuck it in far without breaking the skin. Then brush the outside of the skin with some butter and salt and pepper it generously. Stick it in a 375 degree oven for about an hour or so until cooked. Serve with some stuffing or with a simple pasta dish. Excellent. The butter keeps the meat moist and the added fat of course adds flavor. And for PHP130 for the chicken, plus PHP20 for the other ingredients and minimal work, you could make two of these for the price of one Max Fried Chicken take-away…

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25 Responses

  1. Yum! This recipe is close to how I make my own roast chicken but in addition to rosemary and lemon, I’d put some thyme and garlic in as well, with lots of butter! For the sauce, I just deglaze the pan with a dry white wine, reduce and finish with cold butter. Yum!

  2. Try some garlic,coriander and parsley pounded together in the mortar and pestle.

    Slide it under the skin with the butter without breaking the skin.The drippings make a yummy gravy.

  3. Hi MM, sorry for this question but I just have to ask, do you put a whole lemon in the cavity or you slice it first? Thanks!

  4. Your post is very timely. I’m about to throw a despedida party with some friends on saturday as I am returning to the Phil. on sunday to spend Christmas & New year in our hometown. I’ll try your Roast Chicken with Lemon and Herbs recipe. Looks tasty. My friends will gonna love it! :)

  5. Sending food holiday gifts early is always a good idea because people haven’t been flooded by fruitcakes, apple pies, cookies, etc yet.

    I LOVE roast chicken, and yours looks nicely browned with good-looking sprigs of rosemary. It’s not difficult to make, but getting the timing perfect (not under/overdone) takes a little practice.

  6. bettina, yes a whole lemon, just washed and dried. I don’t like to poke holes in at as others do as the juices can sometimes make the bottom of the chicken soggy. If you want to slice the lemon afterwards and sprinkle the juice on your chicken, I am certain it will taste yummy! This is a really simple meal but very much appreciated even if you have guests over…

  7. Can I ask which market you got your rosemary from? Santi’s sells the expensive imported stuff which is usually wilted.

  8. Juls, I got this rosemary from Fresh Field in Market!Market!. I did a feature on them in my archives. They almost always have something I can cook immediately…

  9. i love roast chicken! … how do you get your chicken brown all over, and still have crispy skin?

  10. yummy!know what, you can also use ajinomoto ginisa mix to your chicken, then cook it in a turbo. the problem nga lang with turboed chicken is halos nawawala ang juicyness ng chicken, un nga lang its healthy compared to deep fried chicken.

  11. That’s a lot of serious baking you got there and to top it all, and we are only on the first week of December and budbud making. Your place is really Santa’s workshop! Your lemon rosemary buttered roasted chicken looks delicious. The spell of almighty butter did the miracle. Butter rules!

  12. I did exactly the same thing last Sunday! I rubbed it with minced garlic too though and stuck some smashed whole garlic in the cavity ü served it with left over cranberry sauce and a simple sauce from the chicken’s drippings

  13. I also add thyme and garlic, plus I always brine the chicken the night before. Come to think of it, I’ve never made whole roast chicken without brining first, so to those out there who don’t brine, how much of a difference does bringing/not brining really make?

  14. trish, I find that brining does make a big and noticeable difference…except here in the land of frozen chickens, unless we plan 2 days ahead, we sometimes don’t have the time to brine. But if I had my druthers, I would brine all chickens…I find, however, that brining works even better with pork… As for the thyme, yes I love that with chicken as well, when I can get it fresh…

  15. how many minutes do you brine the chicken/pork? do you still have to wash the meats afterwards?

  16. Very reasonable for about PhP 150++ per chicken. How long do you brine fowl or pork? what goes into the brining liquid?

  17. For prawns I brine them for about 2 hours or so, for chicken, maybe 6 hours or so to longer and for pork/turkeys overnight. You can brine them with just dissolved rock salt in water, or for flavoring, you can add spices etc. to a pot of pater, boil it, cool it down and ice it before you brine the meat…

  18. how much salt should I put in the brining solution? I’m afraid I might end up with a salty roast chicken.

  19. kathygirl, for a 1.5 kilo chicken soaking covered in cold water, use about 1/2 cup rock or kosher salt. Brining must be done in the refrigerator under cold conditions. You may even want to throw in some ice cubes at the start to ensure you arent promoting bacterial growth. Don’t worry, the chicken shouldn’t taste salty, it should be juicy…

  20. Hi there
    There are 4 of us Filipino friends living in Norway trying to have a Filipinoesque Christmas dinner together this year. The tentative menu is roast chicken stuffed with lemon grass, pancit, that’s it really. Can you help us out? I can’t think of a good traditional vegetable companion to roast chicken except chop suey. Thanks.

  21. Beki, a salty ham with a sweetish glaze might work well and be available where you are… how about some squash with coconut milk and perhpas beans as the vegetable? You might also consider perhaps a soup up front to add to the Filipino theme and to provide succor in cold weather. Maybe a vegetable lumpia if you have access to wrappers… Definitely a leche flan for dessert…

  22. Wow, Beki, which part of Norway do you 4 Pinays live in? I was just there with my boyfriend in June, in both Oslo and Bergen and we loved it. I didn’t see a single Pinoy around which is weird bec everywhere in the world, we always manage to see a Filipino/a.
    Roast chicken.. I guess since roast chicken isn’t super trad Fil dish, I’d go with caramelized sweet potatoes and a leafy green like pechay or spinach. just steamed w/garlic or something.

  23. just like Beki, our standard noche buena since coming to ireland is roast chicken and pancit ….and yup, leche flan for dessert :)

  24. hi marketman! just wanted to let you know that i tried your recipe over the weekend and it was a hit with my family! i brined the chicken and my brother mentioned that the roast chicken tasted better than the other roast chickens i’ve made before. thanks for the tip!

  25. Hi there. Just to say thank you for all the suggestions. We had a great time and had great food. Nobody dared to make leche flan though. Maybe next year… We live in Stavanger, on the west coast.

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