Roasted Lemon & Cilantro Chicken

Roasted Lemon & Cilantro Chicken

Details

Oven roasted chicken stuffed with fresh herbs, lemon and garlic.
  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Active Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Views: 65,084
  • Success: 95%

Steps

Step 1: Making the Cilantro Paste

• 1 garlic head
• 2 shallots
• 1 serrano pepper
• 1 lemon
• 1 cup cilantro
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tsp ground coriander
• 1 tsp honey
• 1 tsp kosher salt

Method

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Roughly chop the shallots, serrano, and one clove of the garlic. If you don’t have a food processor you can finely chop all of the ingredients by hand.

Cut the rest of the head of garlic in half and reserve to stuff in the chicken later.

Zest and juice 1/2 of the lemon and add to the food processor. Make sure to keep the lemon as it will be used to stuff the chicken later as well. Next, roughly chop the cilantro. Add the cilantro, ground coriander, salt, pepper, honey and olive to the food processor. Puree for a minute or two until you achieve a fine paste. Scrape down the sides if needed.

Note: This makes enough paste for two chickens. If you are only making one chicken, put half of the paste aside. It makes a delicious base for a salad dressing. You just need to add a touch more honey and oil.

Step 2: Preparing the Chicken

• 1 whole roasting chicken (6 lb)
• 1/2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Method

Spray your roasting pan and V-rack with non-stick spray and set aside.

Gently slide your fingers between the meat and the skin. Try not to tear the skin; you are just trying to loosen the skin enough to slide the paste in underneath.

Generously season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with remaining lemon and garlic.

Next, pour some of the paste in between the skin and the meat, using your fingers to distribute underneath. Rub the chicken with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Place the chicken onto the V-rack and place into the oven to roast.

Step 3: Roasting the Chicken

• 3 cups chicken stock

Method

After about 30 minutes, add the chicken stock and baste the chicken.

At the one hour mark, baste the chicken again and check to see how dark the skin is getting. The paste makes the chicken brown quicker, so if it gets too dark, simply cover it with foil before placing back into the oven.

Depending on the size of your chicken, it will take 1 1/2 to 2 hours to cook. When checking the chicken, try not to puncture the meat more than you need to; otherwise, the juices will escape. To check the chicken, look to see if there is any pink color left between the leg and the breast. If so, the chicken is not quite ready. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the roasting pan. Loosely cover with foil and let rest for at least 20 minutes.

Step 4: Finishing the Chicken

• 1 cup chicken stock

Method

To make the sauce, first pour off the juices and fat from the roasting pan. Skim off the fat using a ladle or fat separator. Reserve the juices.

Over medium-high heat, add some stock or white wine to the roasting pan to deglaze. Strain the deglazed liquid and the reserved juices from the resting chicken into a saucepan. Bring the sauce to a quick boil, and season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Pour into a gravy boat to serve with the chicken.

Carve, platter the chicken and enjoy!

Chef's Notes

This dish is fresh and bold, it is great in the summertime on the barbeque. It is even nice served warm on a salad for a light meal.

The cilantro paste can be made ahead of time and will make enough for 2 chickens. If you are only roasting one chicken, you can use the remaining paste to make a delicious salad dressing, just by adding a little vinegar, honey and oil to taste.

43 Comments

  • Jade B
    Jade B
    This colourful chicken was a hit! Not only did the paste look fun underneath the chicken skin it also really made it juicy. I'm not a big chicken fan myself but for a dinner party this is great. For twelve people I used two fairly large organic chickens. Perfecto mundo!
  • Soraya S
    Soraya S
    Esta receta tiene un sabor realmente bueno, la crema de cilantro que se le pone bajo la piel, impregna al pollo de un sabor unico, no es complicado, y es delicioso.
  • Ali N
    Ali N
    Simple and easy. Be careful not to tear apart chicken's skin when preparing it.
  • Judith C
    Judith C
    Since my husband & I are going to be alone for Thanksgiving this year, I decided to try out this recipe, using a small organic chicken. It was a great success! And the leftovers taste fantastic cold!
  • Jackie C
    Jackie C
    You mention the cilantro paste makes enough for 2 chickens, if I freeze the other half would it affect the flavor. Also could I brine the chicken in some salt and water for an hour or two before preparing to roast it. Or do it make a difference since I'm puting a paste under the skin to make the breast meat juicy.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    I am always a fan of brining, I think it makes chicken so much better and so much more moist. I recommend brining a whole chicken for at least 2 hours. As for the cilantro paste, you can try to freeze it and let me know, but I think it's best when fresh. But it will keep for a few days in the refrigerator. Hope this helps!
  • Swati B
    Swati B
    I want to add some vegetables like small red potatoes, onions and peppers so that I can make it a more balanced meal. When would I add the vegetables? And how long would I leave them in for?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    The potatoes will likely need about 45 mins or so, depending on their size. You can add them in the last 30 minutes or so, and then when the chicken is ready you can take it out and let it rest while the potatoes finish cooking. At this point, I would also turn up the heat to about 400 to 425 °F, as long as there is still some liquid. This will way the potatoes can get a bit of color and soak up some of the yummy chicken stock. You could also add some large diced carrots if you like. What time should I be there for dinner? Ha Ha! Good Luck!
  • Swati B
    Swati B
    The chicken looks delicious. At this point I must confess that I was running low on groceries and didn't have the cilantro at all. But I had a whole chicken and decided to do an Indian village favourite, a whole chicken basted with just mustard oil and red pepper flakes. I added lime and a garlic head cut through the middle in the cavity and a bay leaf and a few thyme sprigs under the skin. I remember it used to taste delicious. And I just pulled my chicken out and set it for resting while the peppers, potatoes and onions cook. The chicken smells divine. And you are still invited to dinner, Dawn.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Thanks Swati, your recipe sounds really nice. You should enter it in the "Test Kitchen" I would make it for sure. http://rouxbe.com/recipes/text Enjoy your dinner :-)
  • Charmian C
    Charmian C
    I made this tonight and my husband loved it. His only complaint was he wanted more of the cilantro sauce. I cooked a bigger than average chicken that took ALL the sauce, so there was nothing left. Next time, I think I'll try this with chicken thighs to up the ratio of sauce to meat. My butcher sells chicken thighs so big they take about 75 minutes to cook. I think the sauce will have enough time to work it's magic. Do you?
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    Glad you liked the Chicken Charmian... Extending this stock is easy. All you have to do is double up on the stock at the beginning if you want more in the end. This sauce is really just a reduced dark chicken stock flavored (or enriched) by the drippings from the chicken, the cilantro paste and the garlic & lemon from inside the chicken. So don't be afraid to add some additional dark chicken stock in the end to add to the volume. It would also work great for thighs, breasts, legs, etc...no problem.
  • Swati B
    Swati B
    I made this chicken tonight. It was incredibly moist, even the breast meat. So moist, in fact, that I was worried whether or not the meat was properly done. I tested for donness by cutting through where the leg and breast met as indicated in the video recipe. My chicken seemed done. But after dinner when I shredded the leftover meat to store for soups and chicken salad, the carcass underneath was still pink in some parts. Is this normal?
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    Unless you really overcook a bird, you will often find a few pieces of meat very close the bone that might have some residual pinkness. Not too much to worry about especially if the meat you ate was fully cooked (with no pinkness). Another testing tip when checking the thigh meat for doneness, is to make sure to pull the leg right back to expose the joint where the leg meets the carcass. It should pull away from the joint quite easily. If there is still a lot of resistance, then it is not cooked right to the bone. You can see it best in this video for "How to carve poultry". Note the second leg how easily it pulls from the main carcass. Don't worry about it too much. I'd suggest quickly re-heating the chicken in the soup or poaching it quickly in stock to bring the meat back up to a safe temperature before eating the leftovers (above 160 degrees or until the pinkness has gone away). By the way, even for cold salads, I often poach left over chicken pieces to warm them as the poaching process really makes the meat tender and moist after sitting in the fridge.
  • Swati B
    Swati B
    Thanks Joe. Then I think I have nothing to be afraid of. All pieces were white and the juices ran clear. Also the leg gave absolutely no resistance when I was checking for donness. I just found it hard to believe that I had roasted a bird that well! Thanks.
  • Michelle K
    Michelle K
    I want to make this recipe for Easter, but I will need to roast two chickens at the same time to feed everyone. usually, when I'm trying to estimate how long to cook a single chicken, I use my grandmother's "20-minutes a pound" rule, then use a probe thermometer to be sure when its done. this works pretty well for one chicken, but I'm not sure if it will work for the two? can I just add the weight of the two together, and use this system (two 4-pound chickens = 8 lbs = 2hr, 40min)? thanks for any suggestions!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    I think the times you have for roasting chickens sounds a bit too long - no disrespect to your Grandma :-) I also think that cooking two chicken won't necessarily take much longer (if any) than if you were just roasting one chicken. You may find it helpful to watch the cooking school lesson on How to Roast Chicken. Here we talk about roasting times and also what to look for to determine when the chicken is done. Cheers!
  • Michelle K
    Michelle K
    Hi Dawn, thanks for the feedback. I've tried cooking two chickens for just a bit longer as I would as just one, and they were not even close to being cooked though. I'm familiar with what they should be like when they are properly cooked (and, as mentioned, I do use a probe thermometer). I only use the 20min/lb as a ballpark to estimate when the chicken goes in the oven, so they're done with the rest of the dinner - for just one chicken, it works well for that purpose. If anyone has any ideas for estimating timing for cooking two, I'd love to hear them. happy Easter everyone.
  • Tony M Rouxbe Staff
    Tony M
    Doubling up will mean a variable to your cooking time, but that could also depend on how close the birds are to each other. Anyone who gives you a definitive guide to recommended cooking time for this one is misleading you. Roasting times in any recipe are always a guide, never the rule. Too many variables, such as size of the birds, their temperatures, oven quality, heat spots, accuracy, even which rack you put the food will affect cooking times by as much as 20-25%. This means that if you only follow times, your food may be 20-25% either underdone or overdone. Michelle, you indicate you know what to look for in a cooked bird. Then trust that knowledge, please! It's the only way you'll understand cooking, believe me. As a professional culinary instructor I'd never let any of my students ever, ever rely on a recipe's cooking time, even my own. Your senses and skill development are the only real answer to your question. If you knew what I knew about this question you'd realize that in the end once you've achieved success you'd give the same advice. Don't give in and look for an easy out, discover the answer for yourself, for your oven. This is what cooking is all about! Happy Easter.
  • Aarti R
    Aarti R
    After brining the chicken for 2 hrs, is it necessary to air dry before applying the cilantro paste? and can the bird be kept in the refrigerator to marinate with the paste before roasting? Appreciate your comments. Thanks Aarti
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    You do not necessarily have to air dry the bird before adding the paste, just make sure it is has been dried well. As for letting it marinate for a while the answer is yes it can be left to marinate for a few hours. I often do it ahead of time and then refrigerate it (uncovered) for a few hours. For more info on air drying and marinating you may want to watch the lessons on Brining and Marinating. Good luck - cheers!
  • Aarti R
    Aarti R
    Thanks Dawn for your reply. If I brine a 5 lb chicken for 2 hrs, should I use a concentrated brine or will a regular brine be enough? Thanks and Happy Holidays!!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    If brining a whole bird for only 2 hours I would use a brine with a higher salt solution, perhaps a medium brine. You could use an even higher salt solution as well...just don't brine it for too long (see the lesson for more details about this). Cheers!
  • Deb E
    Deb E
    Is there a reason why, in the recipe we are to roast the chicken @ 375 vs. 400 that is stated in the lesson? Thanks
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Really it just comes down to the fact that this was a different recipe that was done at a different time. The herb paste under the skin can cause the top to darken more quickly so we started it at a bit lower temperature. Cheers!
  • Bryan L
    Bryan L
    I thought those were "sucs" (re: vid 4)
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Here is another thread that discusses this topic. Cheers!
  • Bryan L
    Bryan L
    Thanks Kimberley. Actually, the other "thread" is precisely why I made my comment - Vid #4 is in error according to the "other" thread. the bits on the bottom of the pan are "sucs" and NOT "fond" as stated in the video. Unless I have misunderstood, the video is in error - not a big deal, but it can be confusing for the student when one thing is verbalized and another is written in conflict. Thanks for your feedback - you guys do an amazing job!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Ah, I get what you are saying. Sorry, I didn't realize this was the lingo used in this particular video. You have keen eyes and ears :-) Thanks for pointing it out. This video was from the pre-Rouxbe Cooking School days and should have technically said "sucs". It is great that our students are correcting our own oversights from the past. Cheers!
  • Bryan L
    Bryan L
    Ha-ha, having done some teaching myself I know how humbling it can be when a student makes note of an error. However, I trust you must also know that it is a compliment to your teaching that a student is, indeed, learning something; and, at least in the case of Rouxbe, feels complete freedom of expression. You guys rock!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    You make a great point Bryan and we are glad that students feel free to express themselves. Honestly, we do try to teach in such a way that there is that freedom. Our style is not "it's this way or the highway" as there are many ways to do and look at things when it comes to cooking (and in life really). You know what makes the whole "fond vs. sucs" things complicated is that everyone calls them something different. If you search the word "fond" you will see that many people say that it is exactly what we say "sucs" are. However, if you look up "fond" in Larousse Gastrononmique (a classic French culinary encyclopedia) fond is listed under stock, a "fond blanc" is a white stock while a "fond brun" refers to a brown stock. In the end, what really matters is that people are in the kitchen cooking and that they are practicing the skills and techniques; but, I have to say...when I hear some one say "fond" I do think "oh too bad, they don't know" :-)
  • Charmian C
    Charmian C
    As a food writer, I read this thread with interest. I, too, want to be accurate and not confuse anyone -- myself included. Terminology is important but context can be, too. My mom just called them "those little brown bits" and everyone knew what she meant. When, through one of your videos, I learned they were called sucs, I though, "There's a NAME for those things?!" Even though I now know better, I still call them "those little brown bits" -- at least when I'm not near culinary professionals. No matter what you call them, this recipe is one of my favourites. But then again, I'm a cilantro fanatic. Or is it coriander? :-)
  • Bryan L
    Bryan L
    I don't really care what they're called either Charmian; I don't care to engage in arguments over semantics, so long (for the sake of learning) as the same term is used consistently to avoid confusion. We can call them "those little brown bits" or "pan scabs" as far as I care. Uh . . . hmm . . . . actually I prefer "little brown bits" I think. How about Sweet Underlying Carmelized Succulents? Or, we could call them "sucs" for short! ;o) Happy Cooking!
  • Jennifer A
    Jennifer A
    Hi all; This is my first post to the discussion area here, and let me just say that I've got a HUGE crush on Rouxbe! I'm telling everyone I see about it (up to and including the teller at my bank!!) and how great the website is. THANK YOU!! Okay, now gushing aside, I have a question. I'm getting ready to make my first brine... I've never had brined meat (that I know of) but I know lots of people who've just raved about it, so I thought I'd give it a go. It seems pretty easy and I'm fairly confident about it all, but I was wondering this: I am going to be brining a pork tenderloin. I'd like to go with a sweet/low-salt brine for this piece of meat and I'm wondering if instead of or in addition to the apple cider called for in the apple cider brine if I could substitute apple cores and peelings from fresh apples? Anyone ever tried this? Thanks so much, and happy mother's day!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Glad you are enjoying Rouxbe! You might want to check out the lesson on How to Brine in the Cooking School. There is plenty of good information in there that will help you understand the brining process. Yes, you certainly can add any sort of aromatics and flavorings to a brine to personalize it. Enjoy the school! Cheers!
  • Kristi M
    Kristi M
    Roasting a chicken tonight and wanted to make pan sauce to go with it, but pulled out Roaster and says can't use on stovetop. Is there another way to make a pan sauce or get the sucs off the bottom of the pan? I know they are very important in flavoring the sauce.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    If your roasting pan cannot be used on the stovetop then you could just add s bit of liquid (stockt, wine or water) to the pan, off of the heat. Then scrap the sucs from the bottom as best you can. The residual heat should still make that pretty easy to do. Then transfer that to a pot or saucepan and continue to make the sauce from there. Hope that helps. Cheers!
  • Bryan L
    Bryan L
    I typically deglaze the Roaster immediately after removing from the oven with a bit of wine (the retained heat is sufficient if you do it quickly), and then transfer to a heavy sauce pan. I don't ever make my pan sauces in a roaster even though I have a few really nice ones. They're just to unwieldy for me. Happy Cooking!
  • Kristi M
    Kristi M
    Thanks for the quick reply!! Excited to try tonight :)
  • Deborah J
    Deborah J
    This has happened to me many times, I test the chicken in every way possible, all say it is done, but, after resting, the juices do not appear clear. In your video, the juices do not look clear, in fact it's a bit pink. This problem has been my greatest in roasting, and I end up putting it back in the oven, which is a recipe for dried out chicken. I am truly confused.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    This has happened to me as well; however, as long as the thickest part of the thigh and breast reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit, the poultry is safe to eat. The pigments in the bones and tissue can sometimes affect the color of the juices. You can read a bit more about the color of meat and poultry here. Cheers!
  • Erin G
    Erin G
    The only hitch I had with this was in making the cilantro paste. My first batch had a remarkably bitter taste. I knew something was wrong since it was supposed to be a delicious base for a salad. I was very careful to zest only the yellow parts of the lemon but I made a second batch with no lemon zest and it was much better. Is it possible that the kind of lemon I had was not good for zesting? Otherwise, I brined the chicken and it was the best roast chicken I have ever made. Scrumptious!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Hard to say for sure, but perhaps you just had a lemon that was not good or it was just particularly bitter? I am an absolute fan of lemon zest and use it in many dishes and I can't say that I have found it to be too bitter (as long as I don't use the pith). Perhaps next time, try using a bit less and/or make sure to wash your lemons well before zesting them. Hope that helps. Cheers!

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