Ina Garten’s Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken

I will admit I was a bit skeptical about this recipe when my friend Tess insisted that it created the perfect roasted chicken. The wine, the lemons, ALL THAT GARLIC, and most of all, the bacon? I just didn’t know. I do love all of those ingredients separately (and God knows I love bacon to the point of unhealthiness), but I had my doubts that they would work in their stated quantities and on a chicken. Tess has never steered me wrong, and rarely has Ina, so I gave it a shot. I am so glad that I did! It really did produce a wonderful roasted chicken with skin both crispy and flavorful.

Personally, I loved the gravy. My kids weren’t crazy about it due to the wine (philistines! what do they know, anyway?) and it is definitely jazzier than your traditionally flavored chicken gravy, so next time I make this I will just buy a jar of whatever is on sale for the kids. The chicken itself was moist and tender. Roasted chicken is a big family favorite around here, and this recipe is definitely a keeper.

Ina Garten’s Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken (original recipe here)


  • 1 (5 to 6-pound) roasting chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme
  • 4 lemons
  • 3 heads garlic, cut in 1/2 crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 pound sliced bacon
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the thyme, reserving enough thyme to garnish the chicken dish, 1 lemon, halved, and 2 halves of the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Cut 2 of the lemons in quarters and scatter the quarters and remaining garlic around the chicken. Lay the bacon slices over the chicken to cover.

Roast the chicken for 1 hour. Remove the bacon slices from the top of the chicken and set aside. Continue roasting the chicken for an additional 1/2 hour, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove to a platter and cover with aluminum foil while you prepare the gravy.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the bottom of the pan. Add the wine and chicken stock and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, or until reduced by half.

Slice the chicken on a platter. Garnish the chicken platter with the bacon slices, roasted garlic, reserved thyme and 1 lemon, sliced. Serve with the gravy.

This is what the chicken looks like after one hour with the bacon on it. Not very appetizing, I know. But you just wait…

This is what the chicken looks like once it’s finished cooking. Beautiful, eh? Tess, Ina and Mom Mom know what they’re talking about.