How to Roast a Chicken with Lime and Rosemary by author Cleo Coyle

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Roasting a chicken is a basic cooking skill that's easy to master, and Marc and I are happy to share one of our favorite ways to do it. This recipe is wonderfully versatile, too. Feel free to replace the lime and rosemary we love in this recipe with any citrus or herb you prefer or have on hand. As for our choices... 

Typically, you'll see rosemary paired with lemon in chicken recipes, but we've always been bigger fans of limes. Their tangy, bright taste brings a lively and lovely flavor to a gently roasted bird. We hope you enjoy the combination as much as we do.
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Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

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A Note from Cleo

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
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Like writing, cooking is an inspirational occupation, and often the ingredients dictate the dish. In this case, a gorgeous green bundle of piney rosemary did the talking: "Chop me up and cook me with a chicken," Rosemary whispered.

I blinked and her needling little voice was gone, replaced with a rather burly produce manager, wondering why I had his herbs to my ear. Well, here's the reason...this recipe!

Switching the classic lemons for limes in my chicken recipe proved highly successful. My husband and my taste buds found the change a lovely and lively one. 

Now you might think it odd (at the end of the recipe) when I suggest squeezing a wedge of lime on the finished, carved meat, but a squeeze of lemon often finishes a dish, and Marc and I found the tart and tangy dash of lime especially refreshing. You may think so, too...

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Click here for the free recipe PDF.

Cleo Coyle's 
Roasted Chicken with 
Lime and Rosemary


4 – 6 pound whole chicken
5 – 6 fresh limes (medium size)
1 tablespoon sea salt 
6 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon white pepper 
3 tablespoons olive oil (divided) 

Roasting pan with rack, click here to see examples
Instant-read meat thermometer, click here to see what we use


Step 1: Prep meat and pan: First preheat your oven to 350ยบ F. Allow the meat to reach room temperature (20 to 30 minutes outside the refrigerator). Rinse the chicken and pat dry. If your limes were in the refrigerator, warm them to room temperature, as well. Meanwhile, prep your pan.

Lightly coat the top of your broiler pan or roasting rack with 1 tablespoon of your olive oil. (For easier clean up, I also like to cover the bottom portion of my pan with aluminum foil.) New to roasting? Click here to see examples of roasting pans with racks.

Step 2: Stuff the bird: Quarter one lime and place the sections inside the chicken cavity, along with a dash of sea salt and white pepper. Close the cavity. (I use a simple wooden skewer for this.)

Step 3: Create the rosemary-lime slurry: Place the sea salt into a small bowl and smash the garlic on it. Mix in the freshly squeezed juice of 2 to 3 limes (enough to measure about 1/4 cup). Add the chopped rosemary, poultry seasoning, white pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Now rub this slurry all over the bird and place breast side up on the greased rack of your roasting pan. 

Step 4: Roast: Place your pan in the center of your oven for about 25 minutes per pound, giving a bird of 6 pounds about 2½ hours of cooking time; a bird of 4 pounds about an hour and forty minutes. You’re looking for the thickest part of the thigh to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. (How do you take the roasting chicken's temperature? See note below...)

Note: If you're new to cooking, we suggest investing in an instant read thermometer. There's no need to spend much money. Ours isn't fancy at all. Click here to see what we use. Or click here to review a number of other options online. Your local supermarket also will likely have them in stock. Ask the staff to help you locate them.

TO FINISH: Once cooked, allow the chicken to stand for 15 minutes before carving. To keep it warm, tent foil over the bird. If you cut into the bird right out of the oven, the juices will run out and your chicken will be dry instead of succulent.

TO SERVE: Cut your remaining limes into wedges and serve on the side with the chicken. Invite guests to squeeze a little juice over the meat before digging in, and please do…eat with joy!
Click here to download
the free recipe PDF, and...

Eat (and read) with joy!

New York Times bestselling author
of The Coffeehouse Mysteries and
Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Cleo (Alice) with her husband Marc

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