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Serving size 8
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Total Time

This recipe comes out of Cooking Light’s new Real Family Food cookbook. The cookbook itself is packed with a variety of dishes that I know my family would enjoy. Each comes with a photo and a word from the recipe’s creator. For this dish she says:

“I recently read about a guy who roasted a chicken in a pan with nothing but salt and pepper. I mean nothing. After all the lemon-stuffing, bacon-wrapping, and herb-buttering I’ve put myself through to create the perfect roast chicken, I had to try it. One word: heaven. Another word; easy.“

Easy; yes. This is easy. It really is a matter of sprinkling salt and pepper on the bird, then popping it in the oven.

Since I was able to choose which herbs to use for the sauce, I got a huge smile out of being able to walk out, and pick chives, rosemary and oregano to add to the sauce. You really can use whatever you want so use your imagination or whatever you have on hand.


4 lb whole chickens¾ tsp kosher salt, divided¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper2 Tbsp unsalted butter2 tsp fresh lemon juice2 tsp chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, tarragon and basil


  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Trim excess fat. Tie ends of legs together with twine. Lift wing tips up and over back, tuck under chicken. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper.
  3. Place chicken, breast side down, in a shallow roasting pan. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes. Turn chicken over. Baste chicken with pan drippings. Bake an additional 20 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into meaty part of leg registers 165. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 10 minutes. Discard skin. Carve chicken.
  4. Combine butter and lemon juice in a small saucepan; cook over low heat 2 minutes or until butter melts. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and herbs. Serve chicken with sauce.


From The Real Family Food Cookbook by Cooking Light

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Tags: Dinner, Chicken, Easy, Roasting

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