Dennis’ Rosemary Roasted Chicken

When Dennis and my mom first met, he worked 9-5 and she worked 11-7. That meant that he frequently cooked dinner for us. He had a few misadventures, like Steak Miraculous, and the time he used olive oil in a gourmet chocolate cake recipe, but in general he was a decent cook. High praise coming from a kid who was a ridiculously picky eater.

He had one recipe for fried chicken he refused to share. He would pontificate about going to a local hiking trail at just the right time, to acquire the necessary spices for his fried chicken, but refused to give me the recipe. I swear it was a mix, but he took it with him to his grave. Bastard! *ahem*

A roaster, garlic, rosemary and lemon.However, he did share his roasted chicken recipe and today, I’ll share it with you. Dennis was not an exact cook. He was more of the little of this, little of that mindset, so my measurements aren’t specific.


  • 1 roasting chicken – I am feeding two adults and two kids (also picky eaters), and I like to have leftover chicken, so I go with a 6 or 7 pound bird. Pick a size that suits your family and adjust the seasoning and cooking times to meet your needs.
  • Fresh Garlic – (for my bird I will used 4 or 5 heads, because garlic yumm!).
  • Olive Oil
  • Rosemary – Fresh is fantastic (you’ll need more), but typically, I only have dried and that works fine.
  • Lemon – I have used oranges and even apples in a pinch. The point is to provide moisture to the white meat while it cooks.

Roasted Garlic Fresh from the oven, Garlic cloves with rosemary, the bird prepped and ready to cook



  • Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.
  • Remove the loose papery skins from the heads of garlic and slice off the pointy end.
  • Nestle in a bowl made out of tin foil and cover with a healthy dose of Olive Oil. Pinch together the edges to seal.
  • Place the packet in the oven on the center shelf and bake for 45-60 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the garlic cool. I try and do this in the morning while I’m getting the kids ready for school and then just leave it to cool during the day.
  • When you are ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Remove the garlic from the pouch and squeeze the garlicy goodness out of the skins into a bowl.
  • Add some rosemary. I usually use about 1-2 teaspoons of dried rosemary depending on how much garlic I have. If you are using fresh rosemary you’ll have to add double what you’d add if you were using dried.
  • Add a splash of olive oil and mash together until you have a moist paste.
  • Wash the chicken and pat dry inside and out.
  • Use your fingers to gently separate the skin from the flesh (but don’t remove it completely).
  • Slice the lemon into quarters and stuff it in the cavity. You can sprinkle the lemon with dried rosemary or stick a sprig or two of fresh on top of the lemons in the cavity.
  • Take the garlic rosemary paste and slide it between the skin and the flesh rubbing it into the meat as you go. Smooth more on the outside of the skin especially in places where you can’t separate the skin from the flesh. Try and touch the whole exterior of the bird. If you have leftovers, you can massage it into the inside of the cavity.
  • Place chicken on a roasting rack in a pan and place on the center rack and roast according to package directions. I go for 350 degrees for 20 minutes per pound.

Usually I serve it with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables.

Enjoy! Oh and if you have a recipe for Bowman’s Tower Fried Chicken, please share it. 😉

The roasted bird in all its mouthwatering glory.
The roasted bird in all its mouthwatering glory.

One thought on “Dennis’ Rosemary Roasted Chicken

  1. This does sound good. I have my own favorite roasted chicken recipe- my spices are a little different, but I love the idea of the baked garlic. My secret (which is what I really think makes the bird taste so cook) is cooking it one one side up, then the other side up, and then breast up (the book I have has the calculations based on weight if anyone is interested in it let me know.


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