Home Recipes Roasted Lemon Chicken

Roasted Lemon Chicken

by Erika Nicole Kendall

1 whole chicken (3 1/2- to 4-pounds), backbone removed and butterflied
3 tablespoons grated lemon zest plus 1/3 cup juice from 3 lemons
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

SEASON Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Combine lemon zest, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Following photo 2 (of step-by-step), rub 2 tablespoons zest mixture under skin of chicken. Season chicken with salt and pepper and transfer to roasting pan. (Seasoned chicken can be refrigerated for 2 hours)

ROAST Whisk broth, 1 cup water, lemon juice, and remaining zest mixture in 4-cup liquid measuring cup, then pour into roasting pan. (Liquid should just reach skin of thighs. If it does not, add enough water to reach skin of thighs.) Roast until skin is golden brown and thigh meat registers 170 to 175 degrees, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and let rest 20 minutes.

MAKE SAUCE Pour liquid from pan, along with any accumulated chicken juices, into saucepan (you should have about 1 1/2 cups). Skim fat, then cook over medium-high until reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Whisk cornstarch with remaining water in small bowl until no lumps remain, then whisk into saucepan. Simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Off heat, whisk in butter and parley and season with salt and pepper. Carve chicken and serve, passing sauce at table.

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christine January 7, 2012 - 11:46 PM

I’m so making this tomorrow. I only have chicken legs, but I’m sure it will work. I just finished picking the last of the lemons from my tree, so this will be great!

storme January 8, 2012 - 12:04 AM

O…M…G! I’ve been reading your blog for a lil while now and this was the first recipe I’ve ever attempted. It was so freaking delicious!!! *sigh* The flavors were great! I didn’t have any parsley handy, so I used rosemary and it was a pleasant surprise. Thanks for sharing!!!

April February 4, 2012 - 4:47 PM

This is such a bright, zesty (as my daughter said) dish! It’s comforting and light at the same time, which isn’t easy to do. The flavors blend perfectly and really get pulled into the chicken. Ok… and I can just put the sauce in a bowl and eat it! It’s that good. Taking some to my mom this evening. Thanks so much for sharing.

Angie September 9, 2012 - 2:10 PM

I was not sure what the backbone was, and definitely didn’t know how to remove it and butterfly the chicken, so I Googled it and found some simple instructions…including a video!

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