Lemon Rosemary Half Chickens

I love roasted chicken y’all. It’s a legit foodie affair. There is just something about a whole chicken hot and steaming from the oven with crispy, brown skin that makes my mouth water. I have done it a ton of different ways and I love it done in just as many. Regardless of how many times I make it though I keep coming back to a classic flavor combination: lemon and rosemary.

There’s just one little hitch in my roasted chicken adoration…it takes waaay to long to cook on a weekday night. Which kind of puts a damper on things when you start craving roasted chicken on a Monday night. Who really wants to wait an entire week to satisfy their chicken craving? Not this girl for sure! Luckily I was able to come up with a solution in order to have awesomely delicious roasted chicken any day of the week, or in this case lemon rosemary chicken!

To start, zest one of the lemons and mince 3-4 sprigs of rosemary.

Lemon Zest Minced Rosemary

Combine the finely minced rosemary, lemon zest, softened butter, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

Butter, Lemon, Rosemary

Rinse and dry the chicken halves. Make sure the insides of the chicken has been cleaned out completely.

Gently loosen the skin from the chicken breast and thigh areas of the halved chicken. You want it to stay attached, but you need it loosened up enough to get a few fingers under it. Using 2-3 tsp of the butter mix at a time, spread the butter mix under the skin and push around to coat as much of the meat as possible. Then spread the butter mix over the outside of the chicken on both sides. Make sure to get under the wings and the thigh.


Slice two lemons and spread in a bed for each chicken half. Place a sprig (or two) of rosemary on each bed of lemons.

Lemon Rosemary Bed

Place each chicken half on a bed of lemons and rosemary.


Squeeze half the zested lemon over each chicken half.


Roast for 45 minutes to an hour at 425 or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165. During the last 5-10 minutes move the pan to the top rack and broil on HI until the skin is brown and crispy.


Make sure to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn while it’s under the broiler 🙂


Serve with your favorite veggies or a salad.


Roasted Lemon-Rosemary Chicken Halves

Roasted Lemon-Rosemary Chicken Halves


  • 2 half chickens
  • 6-8 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 lemons
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Zest 1 lemon and mince 3-4 sprigs of rosemary.
  3. Combine lemon zest, minced rosemary, 1/2 c. softened butter, and salt and pepper. Mix well.
  4. Rinse and clean the chicken halves, then pat dry.
  5. Gently loosen the skin around the breast and thigh with your fingers.
  6. Using 1-2 teaspoons at the time, work the butter mix under the chicken skin until evenly coated.
  7. Spread the rest of the mixture on top of the skin, paying special attention to the thighs and under the wings.
  8. Slice the 2 un-zested lemons and lay them on a rimmed baking sheet, forming a bed for each chicken half. Place 2-3 sprigs of rosemary on each lemon bed.
  9. Place each chicken half on a lemon/rosemary bed.
  10. Squeeze half the zested lemon over each chicken half.
  11. Roast the chicken for 45-60 minutes.
  12. In the last 5-10 minutes, slide the chicken under the broiler on HI under the chicken is brown and crispy. The internal temperature should read 165.
  13. Allow to rest 5 minutes and serve with veggies of your choice or a salad,
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What do you think? Let me know in the comments below! Happy Cooking 🙂

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