Lemongrass Roast Chicken

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This simple lemongrass roast chicken is juicy and tender with subtle Asian flavors and citrus notes. Ready made with a bed of roasted veggies, you don’t have to worry about making an extra side dish!

Lemongrass Roast Chicken

Inspiration Behind Lemongrass Roast Chicken

My go-to recipe for roast chicken used to always be Ina Garten’s famous Perfect Roast Chicken. It’s relatively simple and you are guaranteed juicy and tender results.

I, however, decided to adapt her recipe with Asian influenced flavors by using ingredients such as lemongrass, fish sauce, and soy sauce. I also use carrots and leeks to roast with the chicken. The vegetables soak up the flavor-rich juices that come from the marinade and chicken and are delicious to eat together with the chicken.

Lemongrass Marinade

The lemongrass marinade I use for this roast chicken is actually the same one I use to make my lemongrass chicken thighs and meatballs. I would say it is a pretty versatile marinade.

My marinade, however, is different from the more authentic lemongrass chicken recipes you find online. I don’t add lime juice. I tried it before, but I felt the tanginess overpowered the subtle lemongrass flavor. (If you have any tips or recipes of your own, let me know in the comments below!) So instead, I stuff the chicken cavity with lime halves. I feel it makes a more balanced flavor profile.

This lemongrass marinade also doesn’t require any marinating time. Having the marinade sealed under the chicken skin while roasting allows it to permeate and flavor the skin and meat. You get citrus notes from the finely chopped lemongrass, savory flavors from the soy and fish sauce, and a bit of sweetness from the coconut sugar.

Cooking with lemongrass

Lemongrass is commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine and imparts subtle citrus and floral aromatics. Try to get fresh lemongrass stalks that are tightly formed (versus loose) as this indicates their freshness.

To prepare fresh lemongrass, peel the tough outer leaves and you will be left with a softer, light yellow stalk. Using a sharp knife, cut off and discard the bulb from the base end (about 1/2 inch). Continue making thin slices up about 3-4 inches or until it is no longer yellowish but green. Only this bottom yellowish part of lemongrass is edible. For this recipe, continue to finely mince the sliced lemongrass.

Tips for Roasting Chicken

Pat the chicken completely dry after rinsing with water. This will help the skin to crisp and brown with the drizzled butter.

Make sure to tuck the wings under the chicken body to prevent the wing tips from burning while roasting.

Roast the chicken until the internal temperature registers 165°F or until the juices run clear if you cut between the chicken leg and thigh.

After the chicken is done roasting, cover it with aluminum foil and let it rest for about 20 minutes. This will allow the juices from all the roasting to reabsorb into the meat instead of flowing out if you cut too early.

Sterilize surfaces that the raw chicken may have touched to kill any potentially harmful bacteria from the raw chicken. (e.g. sink, kitchen counter)

Thanksgiving and Christmas Roast

This recipe is great for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and if you’re cooking for a smaller group. There’s no need to brine overnight or baste as you would usually do with a large turkey. The prep work is simple and the roast time is a lot shorter than the usual 3-5 hours for a turkey.

Mise en Place

Lemongrass Roast Chicken mise en place

If you make this Lemongrass Roast Chicken I would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment and/or recipe rating at the bottom of this page. And if you have a photo of your food, be sure to tag me on Instagram!

Lemongrass Roast Chicken

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Asian, Fusion
Keyword: Chicken, Lemongrass, Thanksgiving
Servings: 4


  • 1 whole chicken, giblets removed (4 ½ lb)
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 lime, halved crosswise
  • 4 cups leeks, thickly sliced (about 2 large leeks)
  • 2 cups carrots, thickly sliced
  • olive oil

Lemongrass Marinade

  • ½ cup lemongrass, finely chopped (prep tips in blog post) (about 2 stalks)
  • 1 tbsp garlic, crushed
  • 1 ½ tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp fish sauce


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Mix together the lemongrass marinade ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Carefully rinse the inside and outside of the chicken with water, and pat it dry with paper towels.
  • Place the chicken breast side up in a roasting pan or large baking dish.
  • Distribute the lemongrass marinade under the turkey skin, being careful not to rip the skin too much.
  • Season the chicken cavity with salt and pepper and add the lime halves.
  • Drizzle the outside of the chicken with the melted butter, and lightly season with salt.
  • Tie the chicken legs together with kitchen string.
  • Tuck the wing tips under the chicken body.
  • Toss the fennel and carrots in large bowl with some olive oil and place them around the chicken in the baking dish.
  • Roast the chicken for 1 ½ hours or until the thickest part of the thigh has an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and let the chicken rest for about 20 minutes before serving.


Make sure to sterilize any surfaces that the raw chicken touched (e.g., sink, kitchen top)
The chicken is done roasting if the juices run clear when you cut between the chicken leg and thigh.

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