Roasted Chicken with Fennel & Lemon Zest


By Chef Amanda DeLaura

The first time I made this chicken for a client in Houston, TX she asked me to come back the next week and make it again. Please don’t feel like you have to always roast a whole chicken. Keep your eyes out for cuts that are on sale: bone-in thighs, drumsticks, etc.  benefit of roasting chicken on the bone is that you can (and should) reserve the bones and freeze them to make bone broth later. Don’t know how to make bone broth? Don’t worry, I will be returning next week to share my basic go-to chicken bone broth recipe with you! Till then, enjoy this recipe. It perfectly kicks off September and can be both a summer and fall dish. Bon appétit!

Makes 1 chicken or 6 servings

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1 whole organic free-range chicken (raised without any antibiotics)

1 Tbsp sesame oil 1 Tbsp Malden salt 1 lemon, zested

1 Tbsp dried oregano 1 Tbsp cumin powder

1 tsp paprika

2 tsp fennel seeds

2 tsp caraway seeds

2 tsp blacked cracked pepper

Fresh herbs, as desired (thyme, sage, rosemary, etc.)

2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2” discs

2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2” discs

1 small red onion, chopped

2 small golden or red potatoes, cut into 6 to 8 cubes

1 small butternut squash, peeled & cut into 1” pieces

6 garlic cloves, peeled & kept whole

1 Tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat your oven to 475ºF. Completely pat your chicken dry with paper towels. Remove any packed organs from the inside of your bird and place the bird into a large casserole/ baking dish and coat the skin with the 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, using your hands or a basting brush to evenly spread the oil over the chicken carcass. Spread the salt, lemon zest, spices and herbs over the skin of the Cut the lemon in half and stuff the inside of the chicken with the lemon halves and any fresh herbs you wish to use. Place the chicken in the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. The initial high heat will ensure a mouthwatering, crispy skin.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and cut your vegetables and toss in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. After the chicken has baked for 10 minutes, lower the oven heat to 350ºF and add the prepared veggies to your casserole dish, spreading them around the base of the chicken. Continue to bake the chicken for 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken (60 minutes if your bird is closer to 2-3lbs and around 90 minutes if your bird is closer to 3-4 lbs), until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Be sure to baste the chicken with any chicken drippings 45 minutes into the bake. This will ensure the chicken remains moist.
  3. Once your chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165ºF, remove it from the oven, baste once more with drippings, and let rest for 15 minutes. Carve the chicken and plate with veggies. Be sure to reserve the chicken carcass and bones and place them in a Ziplock bag and into the freezer to make a bone broth next week

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