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Sunday’s Best Chicken

I am the busy mom of four and a nursing student, so weeknight dinners are often rushed. Sunday dinners are very important to our family and everyone loves when I make this old-fashioned chicken recipe. It's the best chicken recipe there is!—Amy Jenkins, Mesa, Arizona
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. Bake: 2-1/4 hours + standing
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 2 to 3 medium lemons
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 roasting chicken (6 to 7 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt


  • Finely grate the zest from the lemons to measure 2 tablespoons; set aside. Coarsely chop 2 lemons; place chopped lemons and rosemary sprigs in the chicken cavity. Save remaining lemon for another use.
  • Place chicken on a rack in a shallow roasting pan; brush with oil. Combine the minced rosemary, pepper, salt and lemon zest; rub over chicken.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 2-1/4 to 2-3/4 hours or until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170°-175°, basting occasionally with drippings. (Cover loosely with foil if chicken browns too quickly.)
  • Let stand for 15 minutes before carving. Discard lemons and rosemary sprigs.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 555 calories, 34g fat (9g saturated fat), 179mg cholesterol, 801mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 1g fiber), 57g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • lvarner
    Mar 2, 2019

    This is a review of the recipe, not including the nutritional facts (which it appears there's some concern about). The recipe itself is fairly easy, and the chicken turned out great. The rosemary and lemon are a really nice flavor combination and go so nicely with chicken. Be sure to let it rest as directed prior to carving/slicing. This truly is an excellent Sunday dinner chicken recipe.

  • suejjj
    Apr 19, 2018

    Chicken was awesome, filled the house with wonderful rosemary aromas which was welcome for the snowy April weather weary. Made mashed potatoes and gravy for side, a can of cranberries, and a green salad. May flowers are far away, so let’s celebrate the end of winter with an super easy warm family meal! Thanks for sharing!

  • rebelwithoutaclue
    Apr 18, 2018

    175 degrees internal is way to hot. Remove at 163 and rest for 10 min so it will rise to 165 degrees internal. Never again have dry chicken and DO NOT use the old adage of 'until the juices run clear". It just does not give you the complete picture of what is inside, good or bad. The recipe is a good one but the cooking method has change back in 2004 by new guidelines of the USDA. One last thing. Don't worry about the purple / red bones color you see after cooking. That is a result of buying a young chicken (about 6 1/2 weeks old) that the bones have not had time to calcify and are very porous. Now on the other hand, pink meat should go back in the oven/grill.

  • h20melon
    Apr 18, 2018

    I haven't even made this yet and this is my very first post to anything!!! But i did want to say to all of the comments about the nutritional facts........REALLY???!!!! Why give the recipe a bad rating because you "think" the nutritional values are incorrect? This chicken looks amazing and i cant understand why someone couldn't just google the nutritional info. instead of giving a bad review!! Thanks so much for the recipe, I can't wait to try it!??

  • tinkeytin
    Oct 12, 2013

    This is so good. As for the Nutritional facts they put them there for you to read. If you think it isn't good for you don't eat it. But, don't give it a bad review. Some people don't care and just want to eat something good once in a while....

  • jsk68
    Oct 12, 2013

    recipe looks good but why cook chicken to internal temp of 180? USDA and most other authorities on safe cooking practices recommend 165 degrees. over cooking produces dry and rubbery chicken.

  • 71Chewie99
    Oct 11, 2013

    Having the nutrition info is great but if you don't specify an amount in ounces/cups for the serving size the nutrition info is useless. 6 servings from a 6-7 lb chicken?????? Even with loss to bone and cooking that is over 1/2 POUNDS of chicken per person. Way more than recommended 3 oz. cooked. 555 calories sounds high, unless the serving is over 1/2 lbs.

  • kathidahl
    Oct 11, 2013

    FYI 9 calories in a gram of fat (only 4 in carbs) the math is off on this...sounds wonderful and healthy!! Olive oil is the more healthy fat...and if it is a problem for you, do NOT eat the skin...:(

  • magoo12
    Feb 10, 2012

    This was great so so moist I thought you would only taste the lemon but you don't.

  • vlms1958
    Nov 20, 2011

    I think the count is for the whole chicken...