Fresh lemon pepper's rustic look and robust flavor are worth the few extra minutes it takes to prepare your own seasoning for this roasted chicken.
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon rind
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (3 1/2-pound) whole roasting chicken
Lemon wedges (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°.
Place peppercorns in a small zip-top freezer bag. Crush with a meat mallet or small, heavy skillet.
Combine crushed pepper, lemon rind, and next 3 ingredients.
Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Rub pepper mixture evenly under loosened skin and over chicken. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken.
Place chicken, breast side up, on a rack coated with cooking spray; place rack on roasting pan.
Bake at 375° for 40 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 450°, and bake 20 to 22 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the meaty part of thigh registers 180°. Let stand 15 minutes. Remove and discard skin. Garnish chicken with lemon wedges, if desired.
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