Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken Recipe

Everybody loves roast chicken. Easy enough for a weeknight but impressive enough for a dinner party, roast chicken is the happiest, healthiest, easiest way to show someone you care. Just ask Glamour Magazine, who has been hawking their “engagement chicken” recipe since 1982 (and take note, if you are looking to help someone commit!). 

This roast chicken recipe benefits from two garden-fresh herbs: hearty lemon thyme and tender parsley. Applied early, the lemon thyme is infused into the chicken while it roasts, while a sprinkle of parsley at the end helps round out the dish’s flavor and freshness. 

Helpful Hints

Pick up a whole chicken. The idea of roasting a whole chicken can be pretty daunting, especially when compared to the ease of just roasting parts. However, we believe that a whole roast chicken is a dish that everyone can (and should!) master in the kitchen. 

Invest in a meat thermometer. That said, good cooks use the right tools. It can be tough to determine whether a whole chicken is cooked, since the white and dark meat cook at different intervals. Inserting a meat thermometer ensures that you won’t give anyone salmonella without spoiling the overall look of the dish. 

Use a high smoke point oil. We love olive oil and butter as much as the next person, but for perfectly crispy chicken skin, you’ll want to use an oil with a higher smoke point. Avocado oil is a great option, but canola or vegetable oil can work in a pinch. 

Get creative. There’s a reason that roast chicken is so many chefs’ signature dishes: there are a million ways to make it your own. Experiment with different kinds of hearty and tender herbs, try to concoct a unique spice blend or serve it up with a variety of sauces. The chicken is your oyster!

Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken Recipe

Recipe by GardenuityCourse: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time




Cooking time



This flavorful roast chicken recipe benefits from two garden-fresh herbs: hearty lemon thyme and parsley.


  • 3 Tbsp avocado oil

  • 1 ½ Tbsp fresh lemon thyme leaves, minced

  • 1 Tbsp paprika

  • 3 small to medium lemons

  • 1 whole chicken, around 3 ½ pounds, patted dry

  • Salt and pepper

  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley leaves, minced

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil


  • Bring your chicken out of the refrigerator about an hour before you are looking to cook it. Unwrap it, pat it dry, then sprinkle it with some salt. Let it sit, uncovered, for about an hour, allowing it to come to temperature. 
  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Combine lemon thyme leaves, paprika and a bit of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice blend into each nook and cranny of the chicken. Once seasoned, pour avocado oil over the chicken and rub it into the skin. Be sure to also get herbs and oil underneath the skin on the top of the breast. 
  • Zest one of your lemons completely, then cut it in half. Set the zest aside. Juice a full lemon into two separate bowls. Set one bowl aside, then take the other and pour it over the chicken. Cut the other two lemons in half, then stuff them into the cavity of your chicken. 
  • Place the whole chicken breast-side-up in a large cast-iron or roasting pan, roast for 40-45 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 160 degrees. Remove from the oven and let it rest, uncovered, on the counter for 15-30 minutes before carving.
  • Make the parsley sauce: Combine the leftover lemon zest, lemon juice, minced parsley, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add the olive oil and stir to combine. Drizzle over the chicken parts after it has been carved, directly before serving.