Honey Glazed Lemon Roast Chicken

This Simple Roast Chicken is marinated in lemon juice and roasted with a honey glaze. Delicious!

Honey Glazed Lemon Roast Chicken
Elise Bauer

Nothing beats a roast chicken for an easy family dinner!

In this recipe we marinate the whole chicken in lemon juice for a few hours, roast the chicken, then glaze it with honey the last few minutes in the oven.

The acidity of the lemon juice works like buttermilk to tenderize the chicken. The chicken is salted when it goes into the marinade so the marinade doubles as a gentle brine as well.

Cooking with honey can be problematic because it burns so easily. So we wait until the chicken is almost done, then baste it with honey so it doesn't burn, but still gives us some wonderful honey flavor.

Honey Glazed Lemon Roast Chicken

Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 90 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Servings 3 to 4 servings

You can marinate this chicken for 2 hours or up to overnight. An overnight marinade will result in more lemon flavor in the chicken, but in either case, the lemon flavor is subtle.


  • One 4 pound (1.8 k) whole chicken

  • 1 cup (236 ml) lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme

  • 1/2 fresh lemon, cut into wedges

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) honey, heated to make it easier to brush


  1. Marinate the chicken:

    Rub the chicken with about two teaspoons of kosher salt, all around the surface of the chicken. Place the lemon juice and the whole chicken in a resealable plastic bag (like a large freezer bag). Seal the bag and move the lemon juice around so that it coats the chicken.

    Place the bagged chicken in a bowl, so that if the bag leaks, it won't leak all over your fridge, and chill for 2 hours or overnight. Turn the chicken occasionally so that all sides stay coated with the lemon juice.

    whole raw chicken
    Elise Bauer
    marinate whole chicken in lemon juice
    Elise Bauer
  2. Pat dry the chicken, rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add herbs and lemon wedges:

    Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C) with an oven rack set in the bottom third of the oven. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and take it out of the marinade bag (discard the marinade).

    Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Rub olive oil all over the exterior of the chicken. Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper, including the cavity. Place thyme sprigs and lemon wedges into the cavity.

    whole chicken ready to be roasted
    Elise Bauer
    whole chicken trussed in roasting pan
    Elise Bauer
  3. Roast chicken and baste with honey:

    Place the chicken on a rack over a shallow roasting pan (we recommend a rack to help the heat circulation around the chicken). Roast for 20 minutes at 400°F (205°C), then lower the heat to 350°F (175°C). Roast for another 45 minutes.

    While the chicken is roasting, heat the honey in a bowl in the microwave or in a small saucepan to make it easier to brush.

    After the chicken has roasted at 350°F (175°C) for 45 minutes, use a pastry brush to generously brush the top and sides of the chicken all over with honey.

    baste lemon chicken with honey glaze
    Elise Bauer
    honey glazed chicken out of oven
    Elise Bauer

    Roast for another 10 to 15 minutes at 350°F (175°C) until an instant read thermometer reads 160°F (71°C) for the breast and 170°F (77°C) for the thigh, or when a sharp knife inserted into the breast and thigh releases juices that run clear, not pink.

    Honey will burn if it gets too hot, so watch the chicken at this stage. If the skin is getting too dark and the chicken still isn't done, loosely tent the chicken with a piece of aluminum foil. Brush the chicken with honey one more time before taking it out of the oven.

  4. Tent with foil and let rest:

    Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Tent with foil to rest for 15 minutes.

  5. Make gravy with drippings:

    Scrape up the drippings from the roasting pan with a metal spatula. Pour the pan juices and drippings into a small saucepan. If there are blackened bits from burnt honey, remove them. Spoon off all but a tablespoon of fat.

    If you want to thicken the juices for gravy, create a slurry with a teaspoon of cornstarch or flour and a tablespoon of water. Add the slurry to the drippings, heat and stir until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Serve the chicken with pan juices or thickened gravy.


Honey Glazed Lemon Chicken from Bon Appetit

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
572 Calories
27g Fat
40g Carbs
48g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 572
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 152mg 51%
Sodium 236mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 25g
Protein 48g
Vitamin C 107mg 536%
Calcium 83mg 6%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 741mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.