Lemon Basil Chicken
Nina Herndon
April 30, 2023
August 16, 2023


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 2 medium lemons, divided:
  • 1 medium lemon, zested and juiced 
  • 1 medium lemon, cut into quarters
  • 3 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped 
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • ½ onion


  • Remove chickens from packaging and pat dry. Coat liberally with salt, including between the skin and breast meat. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, basil, honey, and oil. Set aside.
  • Stuff each chicken with lemon quarters and a ¼ onion.
  • See “Oven Method” or “Instant Pot Method” for when to coat both chickens liberally with lemon basil mixture. 

Oven Method

  • Preheat oven to 400° F. 
  • Place side by side in the large roasting pan and place in the oven.
  • Coat both chickens liberally with lemon basil mixture. 
  • Check on the chicken every 20 minutes, rotating as necessary, basting with liquid, and covering if it begins to reach a dark brown until the temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Let rest before carving.

Instant Pot Method

  • Choose saute feature on instant pot and set time to 6 minutes and add 1 Tbsp of high-heat oil, like grapeseed oil.
  • Once hot, add chicken, breast side down and brown.
  • After 6 minutes, remove chicken and add trivet to instant pot. Pour 1 cup water in bottom of pot and add chicken to trivet.
  • Coat both chickens liberally with lemon basil mixture. 
  • Lock lid and set cook time (8 minutes/pound).
  • When cooking is finished allow to set for 10 mins.
  • Choose vent feature to release pressure before opening.
  • Let cool slightly before carving.

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Nina Herndon

Nina believes women have an incredible ability to help one another, and is driven to cultivate safe spaces for them to do so. Over the years she has helped her mom to grow Retreat in the Pines to reach as many women as possible.

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