Chicken in a Watermelon

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July 25, 2019

cooked Chicken in WatermelonYou did not read this wrong, it is indeed a chicken cooked inside of a watermelon. This recipe was posted in the New York Times as an April Fool's joke, but I tried it out, with my own adjustments, and it was one of the most spectacularly juicy chickens I'd ever had. No, you can't taste the watermelon, and yes, it is so worth the time to do this. Summertime makes watermelons abundant and cheap, so please give this a try. It's an awesome summer party showstopper.


You'll have a good amount of reserved melon from making this. I love making summer treats with watermelon. There are several posted here on ThriftyFun, from sorbets to shakes to savoury salads. I've posted a link to one of my favourite salads below.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 4 1/2 hours

Total Time: 4 hours 50 minutes

Link: Spicy Asian Watermelon Salad


  • 1 large watermelon (about 15 pounds)
  • 1 roaster chicken, (about 5 pounds)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 whole lemon, poked with fork several times
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cold butter


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut a tiny horizontal slice off bottom of watermelon so it won't roll away. Cut off the top third of the watermelon horizontally. This will be your lid.
  2. cutting bottom off watermelon

  3. Use a pairing knife to make a guide around the perimeter of the watermelon lid and base. Scoop out the watermelon from the lid, then score the inside of the melon to take out big chunks.
  4. scouping out Watermelon from rind
  5. After you take out big chunks, finish hollowing out the base by scooping out the rest.
  6. scouping Watermelon
  7. To make the spice rub, in a bowl, mix together the curry powder, turmeric, garlic powder, chili powder, and brown sugar. Stir in some salt and pepper.
  8. mixing spice rub

  9. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  10. seasoning inside of chicken
  11. Place lemon inside chicken.
  12. putting lemon inside chicken
  13. Lift up the skin of the chicken and rub in some of the spice mix all over.
  14. rubbing spices under chicken skin
  15. Rub the rest of the spice mix all over the outside of the chicken, the place the chicken into the base of the hollowed watermelon.
  16. placing Chicken in Watermelon

  17. Top with some more salt and pepper.
  18. seasoning Chicken in Watermelon
  19. Put the lid of the watermelon on top, then use skewers to lock it into place.
  20. skewers to close watermelon lid
  21. Place chicken on a large baking pan. It will eventually accumulate quite a bit of juice, so you might want to line it with foil to help keep things clean. Bake in 400 F oven for 2 hours.
  22. Watermelon in oven
  23. Lower heat to 300 F and cook for 2 1/2 hours longer. Occasionally check on it to make sure your baking pan isn't overflowing.
  24. baked Watermelon in oven

  25. Remove melon from oven, remove skewers.
  26. baked Watermelon on stove
  27. Remove the lid and tip out all the juices from the pan into a saucepan.
  28. cooked Chicken in Watermelon
  29. To make the gravy, bring juices to a boil over high heat, then lower and simmer until it reduces a bit.
  30. Chicken juices in pan
  31. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of cold butter, then pour into a serving bowl or gravy boat.
  32. cooking down Chicken juices

  33. Just tugging at the chicken will cause it to fall apart in pieces as it's so tender.
  34. cooked Chicken with rice & eggplant
  35. Spoon gravy over chicken and enjoy!
  36. spooning juices on Chicken
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