Roasted Lemon Tarragon Chicken

*Yawn*  And a happy Friday to you all.  I’m amazed I’m even working on the blog today considering I was out until all hours of the night with my good friend Bon Jovi last night.  Yea that’s right.  I was rocking out to a little “It’s my life”, “Livin’ on a Prayer”, and “Runaway” of which the latter is still stuck in my head and won’t leave me alone.

A rather large group of my neighbors went together and we all chipped in to rent a really large, really raucous, really black party bus.  I haven’t had an experience like that since college.  I’m exhausted, I’m tired, and I’m in dire need of a nap, but all that being said, (did I mention I could go to sleep right now and not wake up until the next morning?  I’m such an old lady.)  it was definitely an experience that was worth the next day hangover that has accompanied it.

Anyway, I’m not here to wax poetic about my love affair with Bon Jovi (ok, well maybe I am just a little bit), I’m here to help you make an amazing lemon tarragon chicken, so we might as well get on with it.  Here’s what you’ll need:

1 Whole Chicken
1/4 Cup of White Wine
2 Tbsp of Butter
The Juice of One Lemon plus the lemon carcasses
1 Large Bunch of Fresh Tarragon
1 Small Bunch of Fresh Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 Tbsp of Olive Oil

The first thing you’ll want to do is cut up your butter into 6-8 small chunks.  Then you’ll slide them under the skin on the top and bottom.  Make sure to spread them out around the bird so that the butter can cover all the meat.  He should look like he just mutated and might sprout an extra wing at any moment.  Or maybe that’s just the way I see it when looking at this picture of my bird with his butter bumps.

Next you’ll place the bird in a baking pan and drizzle the olive oil over the outside of him (or her as the case may be).  Pour your wine over and finally squeeze your lemon on the top.  Stick the used lemon carcasses inside the cavity of your bird.  Now salt and pepper on the top and bottom.  Chop up about half of your fresh tarragon and put it on top of your bird.  Take the other half of the tarragon stems and stuff them into the cavity along with the lemons.  Chop up a small handful of parsley and throw that on top as well.  Green is good, right?  Now he’s ready for the oven.  Doesn’t it look delicious already?!

Throw the bird in your oven heated to 375 degrees covered.  Cooking time will depend on the size of your chicken, but for me I cooked him covered with foil for 1 hour and 20 minutes and then uncovered him for another 30 minutes to get his skin nice and golden, basting once in the last 30 minutes.  Your internal temperature should be 180 degrees, so I recommend sticking a meat thermometer in when you uncover him to know for sure when it’s finished.  In case you’re not sure where to stick it, a meat thermometer should be stuck right between the thigh and the body where it attaches.  That’s the deepest area and the last place to be cooked through.

And, are you ready for this?  Here is the finished product:

If that’s not one of the most beautiful pieces of meat you’ve ever seen, I don’t know what is.  It takes some time to make this dish, but let me tell ya, it’s worth the effort.  The chicken was fall off the bone yummy, and we even had enough left to make loaded burritos the next night (yes, I will post that recipe in the upcoming days).

So in the words of my man Bon Jovi, It’s your life, it’s now or never.  Make the chicken man!!

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Roasted Lemon Tarragon Chicken

Yield: 1 4-6pd Roasted Chicken

Total Time: 2 hours


2 Tbsp Butter
1 4-6pd Whole Chicken
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 Cup White Wine
1 Lemon, Juiced (plus the carcasses for stuffing)
1 Bunch Fresh Tarragon
1 Bunch Fresh Parsley
Salt and Pepper to Taste


Cut up the butter into 6-8 small chunks and slide them under the skin of the chicken on the top and bottom. Make sure to spread around the bird so that the butter can cover all the meat.

Place the bird in a baking pan and drizzle the olive oil over the outside.

Pour the wine over and finally squeeze your lemon on the top.

Stick the used lemon carcasses inside the cavity of your bird.

Salt and pepper on the top and bottom.

Chop up about half the fresh tarragon and sprinkle it over the bird.

Take the other half of the tarragon stems and stuff them into the cavity along with the squeezed lemons. Chop up a small handful of parsley and throw that on top as well stuffing the remaining stems into the bird with the tarragon.

Slide the bird into an oven heated to 375 degrees covered with foil. Cook for about an hour and 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees and top turns a crispy golden brown. If the top of your chicken is looking too dark, simply re-tent the chicken with the foil until the desired temperature is achieved.

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18 Responses to “Roasted Lemon Tarragon Chicken”

  1. 1

    italianmamachef — April 23, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

    Oh that looks so good. Is tarragon an expensive herb to buy? Or do you grow your own? Thanks for being fan #200!!!

  2. 2

    julie — April 23, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

    Michelle, It's not that expensive that I can recall. I believe I may have paid something along the lines of $1.69 for that carton of it. I don't grow my own, but I probably should! I have grown other herbs before, just not tarragon. Congrats again on hitting 200! That's a big deal!

  3. 3

    Sarah @ Mum In Bloom — April 23, 2010 @ 7:03 pm

    Man I'm gonna make that chicken for sure! Way to go! I never knew about the butter under the skin.. we always stuffed our chicken's cavity with an orange but the lemon works beautifully with this one, eh?

    Bon Jovi is my dreamboat. I'm so happy for you getting the chance to rock out! And the neighbourhood bus sounds like a riot :)

  4. 4

    julie — April 23, 2010 @ 9:13 pm

    Hey Sarah! The bus was a complete and utter riot. Half of us almost didn't make it back to the bus after the concert. I thought that someone might find us out walking the streets of Charlotte the next morning still looking for our fated ride.

    Let me know how it goes if you decide to try it out. It was a hit here. All three of my boys scarfed it down!

  5. 5

    Mhel — April 24, 2010 @ 1:51 am

    What a hearty meal! I love putting tarragon on my scrambled eggs too. Love the combination of ingredients… Dropping by from SITS!

  6. 6

    Sarah — April 24, 2010 @ 8:22 am

    What a great looking meal! Thanks for sharing the recipe — my husband and I love to cook whole chickens :). We've never cooked with tarragon before so that will be an adventure.

    Happy SITS Saturday!

  7. 7

    julie — April 24, 2010 @ 8:46 am

    Mhel – thanks so much for stopping by!

    Sarah – Let me know how the adventure goes! Have a great weekend.

  8. 8

    Melinda — April 24, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

    mmmm I love whole roasted chicken
    Happy SiTS Sharefest!

  9. 9

    julie — April 24, 2010 @ 3:04 pm

    Thanks Melissa! I appreciate you stopping by!

  10. 10

    WhisperingWriter — April 24, 2010 @ 5:22 pm

    Yum. I love anything with lemons.

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

  11. 11

    Letherton — April 24, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

    That looks awesome

    I stumbled across your blog and wanted to say hi.
    Take a minute an check my blog out if you haven't already.
    I have lots of great giveaways going on.
    Thanks :)

  12. 12

    julie — April 25, 2010 @ 12:24 pm

    Thanks so much for stopping by guys! I hope you had a great weekend.

  13. 13

    Sharlene T. — April 25, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

    Oooh, I love anything with lemon in it and, now, tarragon. Thanks for sharing. This is one recipe I'm going to try.

  14. 14

    Kerry Neville Bakken — April 25, 2010 @ 6:19 pm

    Happy Sunday–stopping by from SITS! The chicken looks yummy. I love tarragon so I'll be passing this recipe on to my husband, the cook in our family.


  15. 15

    julie — April 26, 2010 @ 7:14 am

    Hey Sharlene! Thanks so much for stopping by! If you try it, let me know what you think! I love to hear feedback about my recipes.

    Kerry, Thanks so much for stopping by!

  16. 16

    Ma What's 4 dinner — April 26, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

    You know how much I love me some Jon! Glad the show was awesome. Missed it in LA as I had just moved and had to give up my $560 "in the circle" tickets. I don't want to talk about how pissed I am. But if I whip up this recipe I might feel a little better, well, at least a little. Maybe the wine would help more!

    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner?

  17. 17

    Lisa Curcio — April 27, 2010 @ 9:41 pm! that looks so good!

    I haven't really tried cooking with tarragon much, but this looks so delicious, I bet I could try.

    I am glad you had a great time at the concert!!

    Stopping by from SITS 😉

  18. 18

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