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Lemon, Beet and Fennel Roast Chicken

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“We got some lovely fennel and yellow beats at the farmer's market and I wanted to roast it up with a large Cornish hen we had. This is the result, and has been so far the best roast chicken/Cornish hen I've made. Feel free to use a chicken instead, or a larger bird, though you should probably scale the ingredients to accommodate. Oven time will be longer too. You can purchase the dried lemon or sumac powder from”
2hrs 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 12 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary or 1 tablespoon herbes de provence
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 fennel (sliced, tops reserved)
  • 1 onion (cut into wedges)
  • 1 beet (sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon dried lemon peel, powder (optional) or 1 tablespoon sumac (optional)
  • 1 (3 lb) chicken


  1. Wash and thoroughly dry chicken, especially the skin.
  2. Separate skin of chicken from breast and leg meat as best you can without breaking the skin.
  3. Rub butter and herbs de provence under the skin and into the meat of the bird.
  4. Squeeze lemon into the cavity of the chicken and sprinkle with some of the salt and pepper.
  5. Stuff chicken with the onion, fennel tops (reserve the green leafy bits for a garnish) and the lemon halves.
  6. Sprinkle remaining salt, pepper and lemon powder or sumac if using on the outside of the bird.
  7. If desired let bird marinate in fridge for a few hours to overnight. I usually let it sit while slicking beets and fennel, and preheating oven to 350.
  8. Arrange the sliced beets and slices of fennel in the bottom of a 8" x 11" baking dish.
  9. Place bird in oven and cook for 1-1.5 hours.
  10. Check for crisp golden skin and the meat to be cooked through before serving.
  11. You may want to baste while cooking, though this will keep the skin from crisping. I find the juices from the lemon and veggies keep the bird moist during cooking though as long as it's not over done.

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