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Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, 250 Favorite Recipes All Lightened Up, Exclusive: Roast Chicken Sunday Supper

By Paula Deen

As in most Southern homes, Sunday supper is sacred in my family. So the meal I serve to my loved ones has got to be something special. And you can bet this meal is. I season my chicken with a fragrant lemon and thyme rub and marinate it overnight. A golden brown, juicy chicken cooked right on top of a bed of sweet, roasted vegetables is a homey kind of comfort. It’s the kind of meal that throws a great big bear hug around you with each and every bite.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 whole chicken (3 ½ to 4 pounds), rinsed and patted dry
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
  • 2 turnips, quartered
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1 ½-inch chunks 


1. In a small bowl, combine the oil, lemon slices, thyme, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the skin of the chicken and the inside of the cavity, spreading it as evenly as possible so that the chicken will brown evenly. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight.

2. The next day, let the chicken come to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 °F.

3. Remove any lemon slices and thyme from the outside of the chicken and press them deep inside the chicken cavity. Scatter the carrots, turnips, and onion in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Pour enough water into the pan to just cover the bottom. Season the vegetables to taste with salt and pepper. Place the chicken, breast side up, on top of the bed of vegetables.

4. Place the pan on the oven rack and roast for 20 minutes. Baste the bird all over with its juices and continue roasting for 25 minutes more, basting two or three more times (if the chicken is not golden brown all over at this point, continue
to cook for 10 minutes more).

5. Reduce the heat to 325 °F. Finish roasting, without basting, until the thigh juices run clear when pierced with a knife, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 170 °F, 20 to 25 minutes more.

6. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before carving. Serve with the vegetables and pan juices.

Serves 4


More about Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, 250 Recipes All Lightened Up

Paula Deen has lost over 40 pounds and has maintained her weight loss for over two years by swapping out ingredients to reduce fat and calories. Paula’s key to weight loss is moderation and accountability, and one day a week she still enjoys good old southern cooking with biscuits and all. One does not have to give up taste when reducing calories, and these recipes are a testament to that. Paula shares 250 of her favorite recipes lightened up. This brand-new, New York Times best-selling cookbook presents lightened up versions of fifty of her classic southern recipes and presents new recipes that cut the calories but not the delicious taste.

The New-York Times Best-Selling cookbook, Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, 250 Favorite Recipes All Lightened Up, is now available now at AmazonBarnes & NobleTarget, and your local bookstores!

Paula Deen - As a young girl growing up in Albany, Georgia, Paula Deen never dreamed she would become an American icon. As a young mother, Paula was living the American dream — married to her high school sweetheart and raising two adorable boys — when tragedy struck. Her parents died, her marriage failed and she began a prolonged battle with agoraphobia. With her boys in their teens and her family near homelessness, Paula took her last $200, reached deep inside her soul and started The Bag Lady, a home-based catering company that marked the start of Deen's professional cooking career. With sons Jamie and Bobby delivering lunch-and-love-in-a-bag, beginning in June 1989, Paula turned her life around by sharing what she knew best, traditional Southern cooking.