Lemon, Garlic and Harissa Roast Chicken

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Lemon, Garlic and Harissa Roast Chicken

Roast chicken. If this is not comfort food, I don’t know what is. Lemon, garlic and harissa roast chicken? Comfort food gone wild! Interestingly enough, aside from the lengthier cooking time, roast chicken takes minimal effort or preparation.

To quicken the cooking time, I prefer to spatchcock my chicken. I really did try to document the process for you, but it did not quite go as planned. See here for an idea of how to do it. It is essentially the process of cutting the backbone out of the chicken, so the chicken sits flat.

This chicken gets slathered in a flavourful butter mixture of garlic, lemon zest and juice, honey, and harissa. It is the perfect balance of flavours, and trust me when I say that this roast chicken is far from bland. This butter goes under and on top of the skin, and bastes the chicken as it roasts, so while it may look like a lot, you need it!

I like to roast the chicken with some wedged lemons and onions for aromatics. The onions become beautifully caramelized and soft, and the lemons flavour the juices to make a gravy or sauce if you’d like. As usual, my friendly cast iron is my cooking dish of choice! Are you seeing a pattern here? I literally use it for everything. This lemon, garlic and harissa roast chicken comes out perfectly in the skillet, with little fuss and mess.

Lemon, Garlic and Harissa Roast Chicken

Recipe by The Sassy FoodieCourse: Mains, MeatCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium
Cooking time





Lemon, garlic and harissa roast chicken – a Sunday classic with a delicious twist!


  • 1 whole chicken, spatchcocked

  • 1 stick salted butter, at room temperature

  • 2 tbsp harissa

  • 2 tbsp minced garlic

  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

  • 2 tbsp honey

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 onions, quartered

  • 2 lemons, quartered


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Spatchcock chicken per directions above. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season the underside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Using your finger, separate the skin from the meat on the top of the chicken and through the legs.
  • Mix the butter ingredients together. Using a rubber spatula put a generous amount of butter under the skin and rub. Put some butter on the outside of the skin, and season with salt and pepper. Be sure to reserve some butter for the basting process.
  • Bake the chicken for 1 hour and 15 minutes, uncovered. While the chicken is roasting, baste occasionally with the remaining butter.
  • The chicken will be cooked when the juices run clear. If you find the chicken is browning too fast (like mine above, haha), cover the chicken with foil.
  • Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes, while tented with foil, prior to carving. Enjoy!

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