Roast Chicken With Lemons


1 3-4 pound chicken
2 small lemons
Fresh ground pepper
Optional ingredients: fresh thyme or rosemary (a couple sprigs stuffed into the cavity before roasting)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Wash the chicken thoroughly in cold water, inside and out. Remove the neck and all the bits inside, then trim any loose hanging fat. Drain all the water from the inside and pat dry.
Rub generous amounts of salt and pepper on the chicken, and sprinkle some inside the cavity as well.
Wash the lemons, then soften them by rolling them with the palm of your hand on the counter. This helps release the juices on the inside. Then, with a skewer or toothpick poke at least 20 holes (through to the pulp) into each lemon.
Stuff the lemons into the cavity, then close up the opening either with toothpicks or trussing needles and string. Don’t close it up air tight or the chicken may burst during cooking.
Put the chicken breast down in a roasting pan. The chicken is self-basting, so it won’t stick to the pan. Place it in the upper third of the oven and roast for 30-35 minutes. After 30 minutes, carefully turn the chicken over (breast up). Try not to break the skin. If the skin remains intact then it will swell up like a balloon, making for a fun presentation!
Cook for another 30-35 minutes, then turn the oven up to 400 degrees and continue roasting for another 20 minutes.


Rebecca Kerns's picture

love this recipe


This roasted chicken recipe is a classic of Marcella Hazan, the queen of Italian cooking, and it's from her cookbook "Essentials of Italian Cooking." Her philosophy to great cooking was to cook with few ingredients. This is a perfect example of that philosophy as this recipe is simply chicken, lemons, salt and pepper.

We cook this chicken nearly every week in our home and never tire of it. It's the perfect Sunday dinner. Be sure to save the bones to make stock, which will taste wonderfully lemony!

Other Names:

Lemon Roasted Chicken


4.0 servings


Monday, November 30, 2009 - 4:55pm


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