Roast Chicken with Saffron and Lemons

Roast chicken is a classic dish all over the world. In this beautiful version from Spain, the bird is rubbed with musky, floral saffron and stuffed with lemons and fresh rosemary before being popped in the oven. This recipe also appears in the SAVEUR New Classics Cookbook.

Roast Chicken with Saffron and Lemons Roast Chicken with Saffron and Lemons
In this beautiful Spanish roast chicken, the bird is rubbed with musky, floral saffron and perfumed with bright lemons and fresh rosemary.
Yield: serves 4


  • 1 tsp. saffron threads
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 14 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 1 (3 1/2-4-lb.) chicken
  • 6 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • Butcher’s string, for tying


  1. Heat oven to 400°. Heat an 8″ skillet over medium. Cook saffron until lightly toasted and fragrant, 1–2 minutes; let cool and transfer to a mortar and pestle. Add salt and peppercorns; grind into a coarse powder. Slide fingers under the skin of chicken breast to create a pocket. Rub spices over and under the skin, and inside the cavity. Place rosemary and lemon slices under the skin and inside the cavity. Tie legs together using butcher’s string and tuck wings under back; roast until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 165°, about 1 hour. Let rest 10 minutes before carving.

As Seen In:

saveur new classics cook book

SAVEUR is devoted to following food to its source. For more than 20 years, we’ve been sharing and celebrating authentic cuisine from across the globe. Now, in The New Classics Cookbook, our editors have collected 1,000+ of our all-time favorite go-to recipes in one essential volume. It will bring a world of inspiration to your home kitchen for years to come.

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