James Henry’s Friend-Making Roast Chicken




The secret to my friend James Henry’s roast chicken is the grated lemon and piles of tarragon. It’s so lemon-y and delicious, it’ll blow your mind. This chicken is a perfect dinner for you and your man, with ample lunch leftovers, but it’s also ideal for a small dinner party. Invite a few people you don’t know and you’ll make new friends– the chicken is that good! (Don’t forget to boil the carcass when you’re done, it makes a yummy stock.)




1 whole chicken (James swears by organic and I’m inclined to agree. When eating meat, why not eat the best? If you’re penny pinching, just ask friends to chip in three or four bucks to help cover costs. They won’t regret it, I swear.)

2 lemons

1/3 cup dried tarragon or 1 cup fresh chopped


4 cloves garlic, sliced

2-3 tablespoons olive oil





Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Take out icky slippery bits from chicken cavity and discard. Grate entire lemon rind from two lemons over chicken.




James grates the lemon rind over the chicken.









Add the tarragon and garlic, lots of salt, and rub all over, pressing some of the paste under the skin. Squeeze juice of one lemon over chicken. When finished, put the remaining grated lemon inside the chicken cavity. Place into oven and cook for two hours or until skin is browned and juices run clear. (For faster cooking you can put the temperature higher, to around 400 F, and reduce cooking time. Obviously cooking time varies with chicken size, and you can always use a meat thermometer to ensure thorough cooking.)


When the chicken is done you can make a ‘jus’ from the pan drippings by adding a cup of red wine and reducing on the stove for five minutes over medium heat. Serve with mashed potatoes (use my yogurt mash in Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie). For a vegetable side, simple steamed green beans work well.


Trust me, this chicken makes fast friends.

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