Lemon Roast Chicken With Rainbow Carrots

Change up your roasted chicken routine with fresh spring vegetables.

Southern Living Lemon Roast Chicken With Rainbow Carrots in roasting pan

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Christine Keely

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 35 mins

With grocery stores tempting shoppers with convenient, pre-roasted rotisserie chickens , it seems like no one is roasting whole chickens at home anymore. And that, folks, is a darn shame.

A big, beautiful bird like this lemony roast chicken has so much to offer that a shriveled deli bird can’t even touch. Besides looking 100% more delicious, it feeds more and releases rich juices that can flavor vegetables (like these carrots) while the chicken roasts—talk about culinary multitasking at its tastiest!

And while it may not be as effortless as tossing a pre-cooked bird in your grocery cart, this recipe is super easy and will make a stunning impression on your Easter table or a smaller holiday gathering.


  • 1 ( 4- to 5-lb. ) whole chicken , patted dry

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

  • 2 tsp. kosher salt , divided

  • 2 large lemons , divided

  • 1 garlic head , halved crosswise

  • 8 ( 6-inch ) herb sprigs (such as thyme, oregano, parsley, or dill), plus more for garnish

  • 1 1/2 lb. small rainbow carrots , peeled

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil


Super Spuds

Omit the carrots, and use 1 1/2 pounds halved new potatoes; they soak up the pan drippings even better.

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

    Sprinkle chicken with pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt. Cut 1 of the lemons in half, setting aside 1 half. Cut other lemon into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place 1 lemon half, garlic head halves, and herb sprigs in cavity of chicken. Tie legs together with kitchen twine; tuck wing tips under chicken. Place it, breast side up, in a roasting pan.

    Arrange carrots and lemon slices around chicken; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour stock over carrots; drizzle chicken with olive oil.

  2. Bake in preheated oven until a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of thigh registers 165°F, about 1 hour, 15 minutes, stirring vegetables halfway through bake time.

  3. Transfer chicken, carrots, and lemon slices to a platter. Squeeze reserved lemon half into drippings; stir. Remove and discard twine. Pour drippings over chicken and carrots. Garnish with herb sprigs.

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