Chicken in a Watermelon

Category Poultry
A unique way to cook a chicken is in a watermelon. It will be the moistest chicken ever, without a watermelon flavor.


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You 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.
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  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. After you take out big chunks, finish hollowing out the base by scooping out the rest.
  5. 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.
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  7. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  8. Place lemon inside chicken.
  9. Lift up the skin of the chicken and rub in some of the spice mix all over.
  10. 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.
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  12. Top with some more salt and pepper.
  13. Put the lid of the watermelon on top, then use skewers to lock it into place.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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  17. Remove melon from oven, remove skewers.
  18. Remove the lid and tip out all the juices from the pan into a saucepan.
  19. To make the gravy, bring juices to a boil over high heat, then lower and simmer until it reduces a bit.
  20. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of cold butter, then pour into a serving bowl or gravy boat.
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  22. Just tugging at the chicken will cause it to fall apart in pieces as it's so tender.
  23. Spoon gravy over chicken and enjoy!
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