Make Ahead

Roast Chicken with Meyer Lemons

February 23, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 6, or 2-4 with leftovers
Author Notes

A Meyer lemon is just about my favorite fruit. It has a thin skin, is incredibly juicy and tastes much sweeter than any other lemon I have sampled. We are lucky to have a tree in our garden that produces fruit about nine months of the year. My Mom's fruit bowl (shown here) is nice and full of these beauties right now...When I saw Ina Garten serving roasted lemons along side her delicious roast chicken, I thought "I can do that with my lemons!" Ina is the master, but I believe most lemons might taste too bitter to serve. I think the mighty Meyer wins again, at least in our family. —Lizthechef

What You'll Need
  • Roast Chicken
  • one 5 lb. best quality roasting chicken
  • 1 head of garlic, halved
  • 4 Meyer lemons
  • 1 bouquet of fresh thyme, tied with string
  • 4 tablespoons good quality olive oil
  • kosher salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup good white wine
  • Sauce for Chicken
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but not melted
  • 2 tablespoons white unbleached flour
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cognac
  1. Roast Chicken
  2. Remove inner "parts" and pull off large glob of fat near opening of the cavity. Wash and dry the chicken, salt and pepper inside cavity. Place the halved garlic head and one lemon,also cut in half, inside the chicken. Tie legs together with butcher's string and fold wings under. Stick thyme bouquet half in/half out of chicken cavity.
  3. Quarter remaining three lemons and place in roasting pan close to chicken. Rub some olive oil over top of chicken and toss lemons with rest of oil. Salt and pepper chicken and lemons. Add wine to pan.
  4. Roast at 375 degrees for 2 hours.Remove the chicken from the pan and allow chicken to rest, covered, while you make the sauce (recipe below).
  1. Sauce for Chicken
  2. Remove lemons from pan and reserve, keeping warm. Place roasting pan and its juices back on the stove and turn on the two burners it covers to low heat. (Be sure to add any juices collected under the resting chicken. A big chicken usually provides sufficient juices. You can add a little stock if needed.)
  3. Mash the softened butter into the flour and whisk into the pan juices which are simmering. Sauce will thicken. Add cream and cognac. Taste and correct seasoning.
  4. Remove and discard thyme bouquet. Carve and serve chicken on a warmed platter, along with the roasted lemons. Drizzle sauce over all or serve separately in a warmed pitcher.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lizthechef
  • dymnyno
  • drbabs
  • MyCommunalTable
  • pierino

23 Reviews

Zenqi March 16, 2013
This was really lovely. Very moist, tender and flavorful. I served it with sauteed baby spinach in olive oil and lemon juice with toasted pine nuts, and moroccan spiced baby organic carrots. Heavenly. Thank you for the recipe!
Lizthechef March 16, 2013
Thank you - I'm making it Monday for our house guest - will make "your" veggies as well.
Umami February 11, 2012
This was incredibly easy and very tasty. Everyone loved it!

I cooked it in our Dutch oven and added Yukon gold potatoes, onions, carrots and olives to make it a full meal. I also made the gravy (sans cognac) but it still would have been good without gravy.
Lizthechef February 11, 2012
So glad it was a success for you!
Lizthechef January 13, 2012
Our tree is loaded right now, full-on Meyer lemon season here in San Diego.
Lizthechef November 9, 2010
Making this for supper tonight, as I need 2 left-over meals for a busy week in full swing. I think I need to increase the wine to 2 cups...Mine kind of evaporated a bit early, but oven is on the fritz.Good excuse for the new stove I so want. Still, need to try this with more wine from the get-go.
dymnyno November 9, 2010
I shouda sent ya some chardonnay!
Lizthechef November 9, 2010
Mary, I am saving your wine for 3 special winter dinners...Besides, this is the perfect plan, oven on the blink, to order my Viking stove. ;)
dymnyno November 4, 2010
This is just your typical recipe, Liz, straight forward, great ingredients and the result is a bright flavored delicious dish! Nice photo of the meyer lemons too.
Lizthechef November 4, 2010
Thanks, Mare, this year I am determined to try this with Mr. Turkey. I have never attempted stuffing outside the bird...Never too old to learn a new trick, right? I'm thinking cornbread.
Lizthechef November 4, 2010
By the way, this was the first "food" photo I took and managed to upload!
drbabs November 2, 2010
This has lizthechef written all over it--- you're so lucky to be awash in Meyer lemons!
Lizthechef November 4, 2010
Actually, this is the time of year they are big light-green golf balls, promising, ready by the December holidays. Then, I will have 9 months of gorgeous lemons.
MyCommunalTable October 31, 2010
This sounds so good. I just love chicken, lemon and creme. Yum. Yet again, love it!
Lizthechef October 31, 2010
Thanks - I'm thinking of roasting our Thanksgiving turkey this way...
Lizthechef October 29, 2010
The sauce/gravy here would be tasteless without the flavors from the chicken and luscious lemons. This would be equally good with turkey, I think.
pierino February 27, 2010
Meyer lemon and chicken is a perfect match. Marcella Hazan first introduced me to this technique. It works especially well with poussin because one lemon will fill the cavity and each of your own guests gets their own baby chicken.
Maefly February 24, 2010
Sounds delicious - will you make this for me? And the photo is lovely. : )
Lizthechef February 24, 2010
Absolutely, on your next visit!! Thanks, Ms. Maefly ;)
SaySchwartzAndBeSure February 24, 2010
This looks wonderful! I have just discovered a source for Meyer lemons (hard to find under 3' of snow in Nova Scotia) I will try this on the weekend. I love the elegant sauce.
Lizthechef February 24, 2010
We had leftovers for lunch today and my husband asked for a spoon - sauce turned out OK, I guess. Thanks and good luck!
Kelsey B. February 23, 2010
Delicious! I love Meyer lemons, too and am sooo envious that you have a tree in your backyard!
Lizthechef February 23, 2010
Thanks - I have actually tried to mail some to friends back East, my home turf - didn't work so well. So, the next time you are in San Diego...