Roast Chicken with Green Peppercorns and Lemon


1 tbsp. green peppercorns, plus freshly ground green peppercorns, to taste
4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) GFCF margarine, at room temperature
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
1 chicken, about 5 lb.
1 lemon, cut into slices 1/4 inch thick

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a mortar using a pestle, crack the 1 tbsp. green peppercorns. Transfer to a small bowl. Add the margarine, lemon zest and juice and the 1 tsp. salt and stir until blended. Set aside.

Rinse the chicken inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Starting on the back of the chicken, gently slide your fingers under the skin to loosen it, being careful not to tear the skin, and rub the meat with some of the lemon-pepper paste. Turn the bird over, loosen the skin on the breast and work your way down to the thigh. Rub the meat with the remaining lemon-pepper paste. Pat the skin firmly back in place, making sure to remove any air pockets. Stuff the cavity with the lemon slices.

Place the chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Season the outside of the chicken with salt and ground green peppercorns. Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170°F, 35 to 40 minutes more.

Transfer the chicken to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Carve the chicken, arrange the pieces on a warmed platter and serve immediately.