Lemony Oniony Chicken Lorenza

January 16, 2012
Lemony Oniony Chicken Lorenza

Author Notes: Robust flavors of lemon and onion dominate this roast chicken. The combination of acids in the onion and lemon, along with the salt, help to tenderize the bird as they act as both a brine and a basting medium.LE BEC FIN

Serves: 4


  • 1 1 4 1/2 pound chicken, spatchcocked, flattened , and squeezed into a 9 or 10" square ceramic pan
  • 1 large yellow onion, grated on large side of grater, like for cheddar cheese
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely ground fresh black pepper
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter,melted just before use so it doesn’t get thick
In This Recipe


  1. 1. Rinse chicken in cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels.Spatchcock it, hit and push down on the breast bone to flatten the bird, and squeeze it into a 9"=10" square ceramic or glass baking dish that just fits or is slightly larger than the bird. Fold the chicken wings behind its 'head’ (think of it lying on the beach with its hands under its head and its elbows out!)
  2. Put half the salt in the palm of your hand and pat to cover the breast side (top) of the bird. Take the remaining salt in your palm and pat it all over the back of the bird and inside the cavity. Do the same with the pepper. Place the bird on its back. Pat the grated onion all over the top of the bird,under the skin of the breasts,and saving the rest for the bottom side and the cavity.Pour the lemon juice all over the top of the bird , under the breast skin,and a little in the cavity. Pour the melted butter to cover the top of the bird
  3. Let the chicken rest at room temperature for a minimum of 6 hours, or refrigerate overnight and remove from refrigerator 2 hours before cooking.
  4. With the oven at 400 degrees F, roast the bird for 20 minutes (or 15 minutes if it is getting too brown). Turn down the oven to 325 degrees F . Roast about 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes, under the skin and on top. Legs should be loose in their sockets. If not, baste and bake another 15 minutes on its back, til browned and legs are loose.
  5. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes. Baste and serve with basmati rice to absorb the piquant sauce.

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Reviews (4) Questions (1)

4 Reviews

Author Comment
LE B. February 5, 2014
I made this the other night and put potato wedges and sunchoke pieces around the bird (not under) the vegs absorbed the juices on their bottoms and got crispy on the tops. yum! thx for the inspiration, youall!
creamtea January 18, 2012
I also like the idea of the bird at the beach :) <br />I usually make a lemon garlic chicken, but I like the explanation that the onion juice acts as an acid to tenderize the meat.
Author Comment
LE B. January 18, 2012
sd, i have often thought of roasting it with potato wedges around it (not under, because i like them crusty), but i have been afraid that they would absorb all the juices that i want to serve the chicken with. Though there are alot of butter/juices. but def put the onion on/all over the bird or you won't get that tenderizing effect and that robust onion flavor. Maybe try it first as written, and then mess with it on the next go? I try to control myself to do this myself, with new recipes, though i am often convinced that they must be changed from the get-go!
Author Comment
LE B. January 18, 2012
sd, that's a cool idea too. i forgot to mention that grating the onion produces all that onion juice- which goes down into the meat- onion juice being an acid (tenderizer) along with the lemon juice. Hope you'll try it and report back some time. i'm new to food52, so thanks much for the comments.