Perfectly Browned Classic Rosemary Roasted Chickens

A roasted chicken is one of the most versatile foods that you can make.  A sunday dinner with roasted potatoes, green beans with sliced almonds and a salad to start.  We always make two chickens at the same time so that you can repurpose the ‘leftovers’.  We love the term ‘repurpose' which we heard from Chef Guy Fieri.  It sounds much more appealing than the term leftovers.  You can make so many things with these two chickens it's amazing.   A delicious salad, sandwiches, pot pies, fajitas, tacos, broth, and enchiladas to name a few.

This is a recipe that was passed on through generations.  It works just as well today as it did a 100 years ago. 


  • 2 (3-3 ½) pound organic chickens

  • 3 lemons

  • 1 large yellow onion

  • 1 large purple onion

  • 6 sprigs of rosemary

  • Cayenne pepper

  • Olive oil


Take chickens out of the refrigerator two hours before cooking so that they are truly at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Wash both chickens in cold water salting the inside cavity and the skin (be careful not to tear the skin).  Dry thoroughly.  Truss the chickens (that means tie the legs and wings)

Slice the onions into rings and quarter one of the lemons and slice the other two into medium slices.  Oil a sheet pan with the olive oil.  Place rings of onions on the sheet pan along with sprigs of rosemary.

In the cavity of the chickens place 2 quarters of the lemons.  Rub olive oil all over the chicken. Generously salt and pepper the chickens and sprinkle with cayenne pepper  (remember to do the sides of the chickens).  Place the chickens on top of the onions.

Place the leaves of the two remaining sprigs of rosemary on the top of the chicken.

Place the chicken in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes at 475 degrees or until the outside is nice and brown.

Lower the temperature the 325 degrees and continue to cook until you can easily wiggle the legs or until the internal temperature in the leg is 165 degrees (the breast cooks faster).  This take around 45 minutes.

Remove the chickens from the oven and place a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the top. Allow the chickens to rest for at least 20 minutes.

You can either serve them for dinner or cover and place in the refrigerator for a week of healthy meals.

Our next few blog posts with give you some ideas as to how to use these scrumptious birds.