Dutch oven roast chicken with lemon, garlic and herbs

May 6 2012
by emma

This method of roasting chicken changed my life.  Tender, fall-of-the-bone, fragrant and full of the good things in cooking; lemon, garlic and herbs.  No more basting, cleaning the oven or worrying about a dry roast – you simply place a quickly prepared chicken into the oven, forget about it for 1 1/2 hours or so, then take the lid off for a bit of browning.

I made a potato salad a while back which makes a nice accompaniment or you could even try roast vegetables with rosemary.  Or, you could try some potato mash.

Dutch oven roast chicken

Recipe for dutch oven roast chicken with lemon and herbs:

1 whole chicken, cleaned and trimmed
1 lemon, halved
5-6 large garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
Grapeseed or olive oil (not extra virgin)
Tuscan herb seasoning (dried fennel, basil, rosemary, garlic and oregano)
1 tspn lemon zest (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt

Preheat oven to 180C.  Place chicken into large Dutch oven or similar cast iron casserole dish with a lid.

With small, sharp knife make a few small slices over the body and legs of the chicken.  Insert pieces of garlic into each opening.  Place 1/2 the lemon and the rest of the garlic pieces in the cavity of the chicken and the other half of the lemon into the Dutch oven.  Drizzle oil over chicken and sprinkle on herbs, zest and seasoning – massage into chicken.

Cover then roast for an hour.

Remove pan from the oven, increase the temperature to 200C, drain the juices (be careful as the pan is very heavy) and place back into the oven uncovered (see note) – roast for another 25-30 minutes to brown.  This will depend on the size of the chicken obviously – as a guide, a 1.5kg whole stuffed chicken takes about 30 minutes per 500g of weight to cook in an oven preheated to 180°C (reference: taste.com.au).  It will also depend on how hot your oven runs so check it after 20 minutes.

To check the chicken’s ready, insert a skewer in the biggest part of the thigh and if clear juice runs out (no pink), it’s ready.

Serve with vegetables of your choice.

Note: draining the juices from the bottom of the pan at this point reduces moisture at the base of the chicken.  It’s not strictly necessary but I prefer to do this.

14 Responses leave one →
  1. Your pictures never fail to inspire me to get in the kitchen and start cooking… this is no exception! The lemon garlic chicken looks so yum, and simple. I received a Dutch oven for Christmas, and had yet to find an excuse (and an exciting recipe!) to try it out. Looks like I’ve found a good reason to use it now, thanks 🙂

  2. This totally inspired me and I went out and made this right after I read it. So easy and so yummy! Can’t wait to make again and this time, I’ll have to take some photos 🙂

  3. This looks really good, i can imagine using fresh ingredients is ideal too (i would probably cheat in the case of this recipe and use lemon pepper seasoning)

  4. Hello Emma! A friend of mine forwarded me this post after we both got a Dutch oven each last weekend! We had been on the lookout and bumped into a good clearance sale! Next thing I know this yummy recipe from a splash of vanilla!!! 🙂 Thank you!!!

    1. Awesome Madhu 🙂 :), thank you to your friend for passing it on.

      I purchased my Dutch oven on sale as well, a few years ago. You’ll wonder how you did without it, they’re amazing.

  5. Dear Emma

    Hi, tried your recipe last night. The roast chicken was very yummy.
    Just found the bottom side of the chicken was not crispy. How can I improve?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Doris

      I’d say before you take the lid off to brown the top of the chicken, drain the juices, brown the top for 20 minutes then turn the chicken around so the base is facing the top and brown that side for another 10-15 minutes or so.

      Let me know how you go – I’m planning on roasting a chicken in the next couple of weeks so will give it a try.

      1. Dear Emma

        Thanks so much for your advise. I suspect the result is not as good due to my oven is not the real oven (I used convection microwave oven). After putting in the 26cm Staub pot inside, I barely can put my hand in it with glove. Nonetheless, I will try your method. Just another question, the bottom side always stick to the pot despite I spread oil before I roast.
        After roasting for 90 mins, I think the chicken is so tender and if I turn the chicken around, probably the chicken will tear apart. Have you experience this before? Any more tips for me?
        Thank you so much Emma!

        1. Sorry Doris, I don’t have any experience with convection microwaves so can’t give you any advice about that unfortunately.

          When I roast the chicken in the oven, it’s tender but is able to be transferred without falling apart too much.

  6. Hi! I honestly never leave comments on blogs but had to say THANK YOU FOR SHARING. This chicken was amazing!! It fell off the bones, was super moist and crispy (my favourite qualities in chicken). I just got a dutch oven for my birthday and this was my second time using it. Google brought me here and I am so impressed, I look forward to checking out more of your recipes !

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