Planning a Napa Valley wine tour? Want to share with your friends and family your trip once you are back home? A delicious home-cooked meal paired with a wine you brought back is the perfect way to share your wine tasting trip. This Lemon Herb Roast Chicken is a fantastic option – it’s easy to prepare beforehand, requires minimal effort, and pairs beautifully with a variety of Napa Valley wines.

This recipe creates a flavorful and juicy roast chicken with a crispy, lemon-herb scented skin.


  • 1 (3-4 pound) whole chicken
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice and zest, rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Loosen the skin of the chicken breast by carefully separating the skin from the flesh using your fingers. Gently massage about half of the herb butter mixture under the skin.
  4. Rub the remaining herb butter mixture over the entire surface of the chicken. Season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  5. Stuff the cavity with the lemon halves and any remaining herb sprigs. Truss the chicken legs with kitchen twine (optional).
  6. Place the chicken breast-side up in a roasting pan. Add chicken broth to the bottom of the pan (optional). This helps to keep the drippings moist and can be used to make pan gravy later.
  7. Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes, then tent the chicken loosely with aluminum foil and continue roasting for another 30-45 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 165°F (74°C).
  8. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching bone, should read 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.
  9. Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.


  • For extra crispy skin, crank the oven temperature up to 450°F (230°C) for the last 15 minutes of roasting.
  • If the chicken starts to brown too quickly, tent it loosely with aluminum foil.
  • The drippings in the pan can be used to make pan gravy. Simply remove the chicken from the pan, place the pan over medium heat on the stovetop, and whisk in some flour to create a roux. Gradually whisk in chicken broth until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • You can substitute other herbs for the rosemary and thyme, such as sage, oregano, or tarragon.


This Lemon Herb Roast Chicken is a breeze to prepare and delivers fantastic flavor. With its crispy, citrusy skin and juicy meat, it’s the perfect complement to your Napa Valley adventure. So, raise a glass to a successful wine tour and savor this delicious dish!