On go-to dishes and simple cooking: Lemon Herb Chicken with Kale and Pappardelle

One of my easy yet signature dishes is a roasted lemon herb chicken with kale, caramelized onions, and lemon pappardelle pasta. If I’m feeling extra ambitious, I might throw in a few sautéed mushrooms for extra flavor. The first time I made this dish I was pretty impressed with myself (and so were others… I promised to email out this recipe but never got around to it- here it is, friends!).  Now, it’s my go-to dish and soon I’m sure Thomas will just roll his eyes and tell me he’s full on cereal the next time I make it.

The complete meal (and yes, make room for some of the skin....)

Ingredients:

Simple ingredients minus the bird

  • 3-5 pound whole chicken…ask the butcher to take the neck and organs out unless you’re brave and can do it yourself. I can’t.
  • Herbs: I like fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage (go heavy on the herbs)
  • 3/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 medium lemons or 1 large lemon
  • 4-5 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 onions (1 to caramelize and the other one to stuff the bird)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of crushed pepper (eyeball it)
  • 1/2 cup of salt, or to taste
  • Kale or spinach, only if you want
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese (to taste)
  • lemon pappardale available at Trader Joe’s. You can make this if you’re extra ambitious and have tons of free time.

Getting Started

*serves 4 people, or 2 really hungry people with lots of leftovers.

*Prep time: 20 minutes; cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Chop 1 onion and caramelize slowly
  • Start prepping everything for the olive oil and herb bath. In a bowl, combine chopped herbs, olive oil,  minced garlic, pepper, 1/3 cup of salt, and juice of a lemon.

Thyme and olive oil

Olive Oil bath

  • Rough chop a lemon and onion. This doesn’t have to be pretty. You’re just going to stuff inside the chicken’s cavity
  •  Chicken time! If you know me then you know nothing freaks me out more than chicken germs. Line a baking tray with foil. Inspect your chicken and double check to make sure there’s nothing inside the chicken’s cavity. No one wants to bake a neck wrapped in paper accidentally.  Pat your chicken dry. If you don’t take any other advice from this post, then take this one. It will make/break your chicken.
  • Open up the cavity of your chicken. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze in the juice of a lemon. Stuff the chicken with your lemon and chopped up onion. You don’t have to pin the chicken up, but I do to lock in the flavor.
  • Cover the entire chicken in the olive oil bath. Yes, you will have to do it with your hands. Make sure you wash them carefully after. No one wants salmonella.
  • Place it in the oven on the middle rack for an hour and fifteen minutes.
  • With 10 minutes left until the chicken is done cooking, start cooking your pasta and braising your kale.
  • Take out chicken and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. You should always let meat rest to lock in the juice and flavors.


  • Drain the pasta water (just leave the smallest amount), add in some olive oil, salt/pepper, parmesan, braised kale, and caramelized onions and toss.

The (almost) final product.

  • Serve and enjoy! Let us know if you made a similar dish or have any advice on new flavor combinations as well as tips on how to roast a chicken.
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5 Responses to On go-to dishes and simple cooking: Lemon Herb Chicken with Kale and Pappardelle

  1. Jen says:

    Yum, looks amazing!

  2. Kristina says:

    This looks delicious! I will have to try it.

  3. Baker Bettie says:

    This looks beautiful and delicious! Love simple recipes that are knock outs!

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