Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Annatto

Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Annatto

Although it may seem ordinary and simple, a whole roasted chicken can be the perfect recipe for your family gatherings. The chicken comes in various sizes and requires just a few ingredients to prepare. For this recipe, I paired some vibrant colored annatto, smokey paprika, chile ancho powder, parsley and fresh lemon. I look forward to leftovers when roasting a whole chicken. Remove any remaining meat from the bones for a tasty chicken salad or flautas.

Yields 6-7 Servings


Juice and zest of large lemon
1 tablespoon annatto powder
2 teaspoons chile ancho powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon cayenne or chipotle powder
2 tablespoons parsley or cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper
5 to 7 pound roaster chicken
Tips~ If you cannot find annatto powder, you can combine 1/2 tablespoon of annatto seeds with the olive oil and cook on low for 5 minutes. Let cool, strain and add to the recipe as directed.

You Will Also Need:
2 more lemons
Parsley or cilantro for garnish
Pan or large baking dish lined with a roasting rack

Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Annatto

Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Annatto


1. In a bowl combine the lemon juice, zest, annatto, chile ancho powder, paprika, garlic, parsley and olive oil. Mix to make a paste, set aside.

2. Clean out the chicken. Carefully pull the skin up on chicken as much as you can without removing and season with salt. Season the cavity of chicken with salt and pepper. Slice one of the reserved lemons and stuff into cavity. Rub chicken with reserved annatto/lemon paste all over. Place chicken onto a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Chill and marinate for a few hours or overnight.

3. When ready, pull chicken from refrigerator. Prepare roasting pan. Season the outer part of chicken with a little more fresh cracked pepper and a little salt on the spots the did not get salt under the skin. Let sit out for 1 hour. Place chicken on roasting rack in the pan. Add 1 cup water to bottom of pan. Season water with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

4. When ready, preheat oven to 425ºF. Drizzle some olive oil over chicken and place chicken in oven. Reduce temperature to 375ºF. Roast for 1 hour uncovered. After an hour you can begin basting the chicken every 15 to 20 minutes with water from bottom of the pan. The drumsticks tend to cook faster so, you can wrap or cover with a little foil paper as it finishes roasting.

5. The chicken is done when the internal temperature reads 165 degrees in the deepest part of the leg. This roaster was almost 8 pounds and had a pop up thermometer. It roasted for 2 hours and 45 minutes. An average-size whole chicken is 4 to 5 pounds, so roasting times will vary depending on the size of chicken. When done cooking, remove from oven and let sit for 20 minutes before slicing. Garnish with extra lemon slices and parsley.

Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Annatto

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