We Made Jessica Alba’s Dinner Party Roast Chicken. Here’s What We Thought.

Jessica Alba takes an honest and fuss-free approach with her roast chicken. It makes an impressive dinner party entrée or a decadent yet easy family dinner.

Recently, I came across a roast chicken recipe from actress, entrepreneur and mom Jessica Alba. The recipe is one of several in her book, The Honest Life, where she shares her philosophy for a healthy and relaxed life with family. She talks about how important clean eating is and shares family-friendly recipes, too.

Jessica’s roast chicken is named The Post-7:00 P.M. Dinner Party. It’s from the “Honest Inspiration” chapter where she shares fun and easy ideas for special occasions, like a dinner party that even parents with small children can plan and host!

“A roasted bird-centric meal looks impressive, but it comes together quickly,” Jessica says.

Two things about this recipe immediately caught my eye. First is how easily you can make this dish on a time-crunched evening: “You can work it around the kids’ bath time—get the chicken in the oven before you take them up, and it will be ready to come out by the time your first guests arrive.” The second thing is in the directions when Jessica says she likes to “really season the heck out of the outside of the chickens.” Seasoning the heck out of dishes is my approach when cooking, too, so I knew I was going to love this chicken!

IngredientsTaste of Home

Ingredients

  • 2 whole chickens (about 3 pounds each)
  • 2 whole lemons
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped rosemary
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

* For a spicy version, add a jalapeño to the lemon in the cavity, then rub ground pepper, paprika, salt and lemon pepper on the outside.

Raw chickens with lemon slicesTaste of Home

How to Make Roast Chicken

Using two smaller chickens was a nice change from getting one large bird. Not only were they were easier to manage, but it allowed me to try out both of these flavor variations. I chose chickens that were organic, one of the healthy lifestyle practices Jessica likes to encourage. Here are six more ingredients you should always buy organic.

I filled the cavities of both birds with loads of lemon slices.

Seasoned chickensTaste of Home

For one of the chickens, I coated the entire outside with Jessica’s recommended blend of rosemary, garlic and olive oil, followed by a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. On the other chicken I used the paprika, salt and lemon pepper and added a jalapeño in the cavity with the lemons. Then they were off to the oven. Jessica calls for the chickens to roast in cast iron skillets, but since I only own one I placed the other chicken in a casserole dish.

The chickens roasted at 450° for just under 15 minutes per pound. (I always set the timer for a little less than what the recipe called for, one of our Test Kitchen’s best baking tips.)

The aroma in my kitchen was to die for!

Roast chickenTaste of Home

Once out of the oven, I let the chickens rest for 15 minutes and then began carving. The meat was cooked perfectly: juicy and tender, and the whole thing perfumed with a light lemon flavor. Some of the spices on the outside were a little over-browned but this could easily be prevented by lowering the oven rack one notch the next time I roast.

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My favorite chicken was the rosemary version: That beautiful flavor combination of herb and garlic was succulent and delicious.

Chicken legTaste of Home

The chicken with the pepper inside had just a hint of jalapeño flavor but was not fiery. As someone who loves a little heat, I may try adding even more jalapeños to my next chicken.

Though I was not hosting a dinner party that night, this was a lovely and indulgent meal to share with my family. Jessica’s techniques and flavors in this roast chicken recipe, and her honest, stress-free approach will definitely stay in my repertoire!

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Nancy Mock
Discovering restaurants, tasting bakery treats, finding inspiration in new flavors and regional specialties—no wonder Nancy loves being a food and travel writer. She and her family live in Vermont and enjoy all things food, as well as the beautiful outdoors, game nights, Avengers movies and plenty of maple syrup. Find Nancy’s writing and recipes at her website: Hungry Enough To Eat Six.