chicken So. I’m in mourning, guys. We watched the series finale of The West Wing this week. If you haven’t been keeping up with my WW obsession on Twitter, then let me tell you—it changed my life. Seriously. Craig and I started watching it (for the first time!) at the beginning of the summer and have been steadily consuming one (or more) episodes a night ever since. The summer of 2013 will forever been known as the Summer of West Wing in our house. There are very few television shows that I can say I truly love, and this was one of them. I really have no idea what to do with myself now. I am (still!) so invested in all the characters and stories. I really don’t want it to be over. I’m not sure I can ever watch another TV show ever again. So I did what any rational person would do in this situation—I made a chicken to drown my sorrows. chicken This is a 100% spoiler free post (to preserve the amazingness of the show for those of you that haven’t watched it), but I will say that this chicken recipe is directly from the bearded mouth of Mr. Tobias Zachary Ziegler. During one of the final episodes of the series, Toby tells C.J. how he roasts a perfect chicken. In fact, his entire quoted recipe is: Stick a lemon up it and throw on some rosemary. A little salt. Sounds good to me.

lemon rosemary

I’ve roasted a zillion chickens in my life and usually I let the bird bake naked (maybe with a little salt and pepper), but I’ve also done my fair share of chicken flavoring with lemons, oranges, onions, garlic, herbs and spices, too. We roast a chicken ’round here once ever few weeks and I have to say, the simplicity of The Bearded One’s three sentence recipe resulted in some really delicious bird. So often I think flavorings in a small chicken can overpower the deliciousness that is chicken, but not Toby’s chicken. Toby’s chicken rocked. If you’ve never roasted a chicken before, please don’t fear, it is quite possibly one of the easiest (and most impressive!) dishes that you can make. It’s literally two minutes of work followed by…well…that’s it. After it’s in the oven, you’re pretty much finished. We like to roast chickens on days when the schedule is packed. Throw in some root veggies in the roasting pan and you’ve got the easiest dinner on the planet. We used our carrots, onions, potatoes and chanterelle mushrooms. Yum! chicken And while roasted chicken itself is delicious, we love roasting chickens for leftovers! Usually I’ll tear up the leftover meat and make it into a mean chicken salad for lunches and then simmer the bones for stock. Three meals, one bird. Good call, Toby. Enjoy!

Toby Ziegler's Roasted Chicken

Toby Ziegler's Roasted Chicken

Yield: 1 chicken
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Inspired by the West Wing, this is one of our favorite ways to roast a chicken!


  • 1 roasting chicken
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place a roasting rack in a roasting pan, or rest a cooling rack on a baking sheet or large baking dish. Set aside.
  2. Remove any giblets from the chicken (if there are any) and wash the bird inside and out, pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Place the chicken, breast-side-down on the prepared pan. Place the lemon halves and rosemary sprigs into the chicken cavity. Sprinkle salt over the chicken.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 160° when inserted in multiple fleshy parts of the chicken and all juices run clear. Remove from oven, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 183Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 194mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 21g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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  1. I made this in my crock pot. I doubled the liquid ingredients and used five drumsticks, 8 boneless, skinless thighs and 4 boneless, skinless breasts cut in 3 pieces. I cooked it on low for just under 4 hours. After removing the meat I poured the liquid into a saucepan and reduced it to half then served the chicken and sauce with texmati rice