roast lemon paprika chicken recipe

Lemon-Paprika Roast Chicken

Last Updated on January 14, 2021

Having a few roast chicken recipes up your sleeve is never a bad thing. This version, rubbed with smoked paprika and garlic powder, is simple and flavor-packed.

Seasoning the bird a few hours ahead and leaving it uncovered in the fridge accomplishes two important things: Pre-seasoning helps the salt and other flavors permeate the meat more thoroughly, which means well-seasoned meat for eating; and setting the chicken uncovered in the fridge helps the skin dry out, resulting in a crispier skin overall.

For a complete meal, set two cups of chopped potatoes and carrots in the pan under the roasting rack—they’ll roast with the chicken and absorb some of the drippings from the bird.


lemon paprika chicken recipe

Lemon-Paprika Roast Chicken

4.50 from 4 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
pre-seasoning time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 45 minutes
Author: Beth Lipton


  • 1 ½ tablespoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 4-to 5- pound whole chicken excess fat removed, thoroughly patted dry


  • In a bowl, combine paprika, smoked paprika, garlic powder, ¾ teaspoon salt and pepper. Zest lemon; stir into spice mix (reserve lemon). Add butter and mash together to distribute spices through butter.
  • Gently separate skin from chicken with your fingers; spread butter mixture over chicken flesh. Season chicken inside and out generously with salt. Place chicken on a large plate; refrigerate uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to 8.
  • Preheat oven to 425ºF. Cut reserved lemon in half and stuff into chicken cavity. Tie legs together with twine. Place chicken in a rack in a roasting pan; roast until juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165ºF, 1 hour 15 minutes to 1½ hours. Remove from oven, tent with foil, and allow chicken to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.


Place chopped vegetables in the roasting pan under the chicken to make a complete meal. Stir once or twice as chicken roasts.
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Beth Lipton is a Brooklyn-based recipe developer and writer specializing in food and wellness. Her work has appeared in Clean Eating, Paleo magazine,, Well+Good, Outside, and more. Beth's latest cookbook, Carnivore-ish, featuring 125 animal protein-forward recipes, is available now.