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Italian roast chicken

Connect with Your Italian Side by Making Delicious Italian Roast Chicken

Italian Roast Chicken is a perfect example of how beautiful and simple Italian cooking can be.  I love the beautiful, clean, vibrant fragrance combination of fresh rosemary, lemon and olive that are featured in this recipe.

If you’ve never cooked with fresh herbs, YOU MUST TRY! If you don’t have a rosemary bush growing in your yard, no worries. Most supermarkets now sell convenient, prepackaged fresh herbs in the produce section. Cooking with fresh herbs really takes your food to the next level. I now always try to use fresh herbs instead of dried, unless dried is specified in the recipe. One teaspoon of dried herbs = one tablespoon of fresh. Simple and easy enough to remember, right?!

I love black olives, don’t you? If you’re my dad, don’t answer that question :0) My dad hates olives; the only person I know. However, my mom loves them and she would bring home the occasional can. I was the kid who put the pitted olives over the end of all five fingers, happily waving them around and eating them off one at a time. Is it just me or did everyone do this as a kid? Whenever I see veggie trays with olives, I load up. If there is a bowl of olives passed around the Thanksgiving table, I load up. When I serve myself a helping of this recipe I pick out a few extra olives for my plate. Terrible, I know. Well, it’s out there now so don’t judge me :0)

A few words about Italian Roast Chicken

  • Did you know that fruit sometimes is given a thin wax coating to preserve it for transport? I always wash my lemons in hot water to melt away any wax that may be hiding there, and to make sure the zest is clean for eating.
  • Buy an inexpensive food thermometer. I don’t know how I managed to get through life without an instant-read food thermometer! I feel it’s an essential piece of equipment for any home chef. While practiced chefs can often judge the doneness of meats by sight and touch, I think it’s so much safer (and easier!) to use a thermometer. No guesswork!
  • Use a good quality olive oil. Some generic brands can taste downright awful. I use the Colavita brand. It tastes great and doesn’t break the pocketbook. Plus it’s been a proven favorite of taste testers :0)
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Italian Lemon Roasted Chicken

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 1 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x


This recipe for Italian Lemon Roasted Chicken is a perfect example of how beautiful and simple Italian cooking can be. Chicken Thighs roast with the flavors of lemon, rosemary, olive and summer vegetables.


  • 10 to 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves peeled and sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of fresh rosemary
  • 2 and 1/2 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into about 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups of baby carrots
  • 1 zucchini, chopped into 1 inch pieces, sprinkled with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can large pitted black olives


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Trim the fat off the chicken thighs. Place them in a shallow marinating dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. Zest the lemon and sprinkle half the zest over the chicken. Save the rest. Juice the lemon and pour the juice over the chicken, tossing to coat well. Marinate for 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer the chicken to a large roasting pan. Add the rest of the lemon zest, the sliced onion and garlic, and half the rosemary sprigs. Drizzle the olive oil over and toss all ingredients together gently. Now let it marinate at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  3. While the chicken marinates, place the potatoes and carrots in a large pot and cover them with water at least 1 inch above the top of the contents. Bring to a boil and cook for just 2 minutes, long enough to par-boil them, then drain well and add to the chicken. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.
  4. Place the chicken and potatoes into the oven and roast for 25 minutes, turning once halfway through. Stir in the zucchini and flip the chicken. Continue to roast, flipping chicken once more, until the chicken has reached 165 degrees in the center on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the oven and discard the cooked rosemary. Replace with fresh sprigs. Sprinkle the canned olives over the chicken. Serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 1 chicken thigh + 1/2 cup vegetables
  • Calories: 257
  • Sugar: 2.2 g
  • Sodium: 605 mg
  • Fat: 15.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.2 g
  • Fiber: 2.1 g
  • Protein: 20.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 80 mg

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