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A roast chicken with tarragon in a cast iron skillet, surrounded by lemons and fresh tarragon.

Roast Chicken with Tarragon and Lemon

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose
Keyword: simple roast chicken
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 445kcal
Simple roast chicken gets a new twist by adding tarragon. Only five ingredients—including the chicken—but full of flavor! And just a little bit fancy, too.
Print Recipe


  • 1 whole chicken
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon
  • sea salt to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Use a good chef's knife and coarsely chop the tarragon. Use a Microplane grater to zest the lemon before juicing it. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt in a small mixing bowl.
  • Pat the chicken dry and place on a sheet pan. Cut out the backbone using a pair of kitchen shears. Flip the chicken over so it's breast-side up and press down on the breast bone to flatten it out.
  • Place the chicken in a zip top bag and pour in the marinade. Squish it all around in the bag to make sure it's evenly coated. Marinate at room temperature no longer than 30 minutes.
  • Place chicken in a cast iron skillet and pour remaining marinade over the top. Roast for 40-60 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken, until a meat thermometer inserted into the breast reaches 162 F. Remove from the oven and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes, then serve.


  • Don't let the chicken marinate for more than 30 minutes. The lemon juice will start to "cook" the chicken and result in a weird texture if it's left in there too long.
  • Once you've got the chicken in the zip top bag, place it in a casserole dish or plastic container just in case the bag gets punctured when you're trying to get the chicken fully coated with the marinade.
  • Get all the tarragon out of the bag when pouring the marinade over the top. Don't leave any flavor behind!
  • There's no need to truss the chicken. It will cook just fine without doing this so don't worry about it. No truss, no fuss!
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Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 92mg | Potassium: 371mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 356IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 3mg