Roasted Lemon Chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
How to make brine for chicken and then roast the chicken with whole lemons and spices for a flavorful, easy dinner.
Serves: 4
  • Water, approximately 6 cups
  • ¾ cup sea salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 stalk of scallion
  • 4 lb whole chicken
  • 2 small lemons
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  1. Fill a pot halfway with lukewarm water, about 4 cups.
  2. Get out the salt, sugar, and scallion.
  3. Using the back of a knife, bash the scallion up and down the stalk to release its flavors.
  4. Add the salt, sugar and scallion to the water and stir to dissolve.
  5. Place the chicken in the brining solution. Remember to remove and throw away the bag of giblets from the inside cavity of the chicken before placing it in the brine.
  6. Cover the chicken with cool water, approximately 2 cups.
  7. Brine the chicken for 30 minutes to overnight in the fridge.
  8. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat the outside dry with a paper towel.
  9. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  10. Using a fork, pierce the lemons all over.
  11. Put the chicken on a rack on top of a foil-lined baking sheet.
  12. Place the lemons inside the cavity of the chicken.
  13. Use kitchen twine to loosely tie together the chicken legs.
  14. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with olive oil, basil, paprika, and black pepper.
  15. Roast for approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes (25 minutes per pound of chicken), until chicken is cooked through and skin is nicely browned.
  16. Let the chicken rest for at least 30 minutes.
  17. Carve and serve.
I am not including nutrition information for this recipe because I don't know how much of the brine solution gets absorbed by the chicken, and I suspect it varies based on how long the chicken sits in the brine.
Recipe by The Eat More Food Project at