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Baked Chicken with Lemon and Herbs


Because different cuts of chicken cook at different rates, we recommend one of the following options: Use only one cut of chicken (such as all breasts or all thighs) or be prepared to remove the various different cuts from the oven as soon as they reach their appropriate temperature for doneness. Any strong-flavored fresh herb, such as rosemary, tarragon, or sage, can be substituted for the thyme.

Serves 4 to 6

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  • 4 Pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (whole breasts, split breasts, whole legs, thighs, and/or drumsticks), trimmed
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 Teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 Teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon ground black pepper



Step 1

1. Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a broiler-pan bottom with foil and lay the slotted broiler pan on top.

2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and arrange, skin-side up, on the broiler-pan top. Mix the softened butter, thyme, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture underneath the skin of the chicken. Brush the chicken with the melted butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Roast until the breasts register 160 degrees or the legs, thighs, or drumsticks register 175 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 30 to 50 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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