For centuries, the roasted birds of Germany, goose, duck, and also game, like pheasant and partridge, were the main staples of festive meals. These days chicken ranks on top of the list of cooked birds in everyday life. Our recipe reflects the popularity of this simple yet delicious dish.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Wash and dry the chicken inside and out. Mix all dry ingredients, including lemon rind, with the oil. Rub the oil mixture over the surface of the chicken then carefully lift up the skin and rub the mixture between skin and the flesh, especially under the breast, and then rub inside the chicken.
Place the chicken into a greased baking pan, breast side up, and add enough water to the bottom of the dish to cover the base pan before placing in the oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken. While cooking, regularly brush the chicken with the juices from the pan. Add more hot water to the dish if necessary.
Depending on your oven and your own personal tastes, you may wish to increase the heat of the oven for the last 15 minutes to make the skin crisp.
Be sure to cook the chicken through, but take it out of the oven while it is still moist. The best way to check if a roast chicken is cooked is by inserting a wooden stick into the flesh, once the juices turn from a reddish to clear pink, the chicken is ready. Serve with lemon wedges.
Present the chicken whole with lemon wedges and carve at the table. Enjoy with a side of South German Potato Salad. Guten Appetit!