I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but it really belongs to my mother-in-law. I only learned it after she passed it down to my wife who then made me some of the best roasted chicken I’ve ever had. The recipe is so absurdly simple that I practically smacked myself in the forehead when I saw how it was done. The skin gets so fantastically crispy, but the meat stays juicy and tender. The simplicity means that anyone can make this recipe, but the flavors will make people think you slaved over this delicious meal.
The instructions for this recipe are scaled down for 1 pound of bone-in chicken with the skin on. Nonetheless, most people will purchase 2 to 3 pounds of bone-in chicken at a time, so please keep that in mind.
Makes 1 pound of bone-in chicken at roughly 680 calories per pound.
Ingredients per 1 pound of chicken
- 1 pound of bone-in, skin on, chicken legs and/or thighs (roughly 460 calories)
- 1 tablespoon of butter (100 calories)
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (120 calories)
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt plus some extra for sprinkling before roasting
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Large glass bowl
- Large plate
- Large baking tray
- Aluminum foil
- Optional: Cooking rack that fits inside a baking tray
- Tablespoon and teaspoon measurements
- Paper towels
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the optional cooking rack over the foil on the sheet. The cooking rack isn’t absolutely necessary (my mother-in-law as well as my wife don’t even use one), but I think it helps to keep the chicken from sticking to the foil/pan.
- Rinse and pat dry the chicken with some paper towels. Set aside the chicken on a large plate or tray. That is three pounds of chicken pictured below.
- In a large glass bowl, melt 1 tablespoon of butter per pound of chicken in the microwave until just melted.
- Add to the butter the 1 tablespoon of olive oil per pound of chicken, the oregano, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Mix the ingredients thoroughly.
- Dip each piece of chicken into the butter and oil mixture.
- Then place each piece of chicken on the tray. Roast the chicken on the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, take the chicken out of the oven, flip each of the pieces over, and roast the chicken for another 30 – 45 minutes.
- When the chicken is done, it’s ready to serve immediately with sides of your choice like rice and vegetables.
- The chicken stores well and easily comes back to life in a toaster oven or regular oven. If you microwave to reheat though, the skin won’t get crispy.