I’m celebrating the retreat of the Polar Vortex with a little virtual sunshine today. This is a glorious dish, there’s just no other way to put it. Citrus season is in full swing — hallelujah! Meyer Lemon Roast Chicken doesn’t take any more time than plain oven roasted chicken, but a quick sauce of Limncello, olive oil, lemon juice and stone ground Dijon mustard makes the whole thing sing.
Meyer lemons are sweeter than regular lemons, and have delicate thin skins, so you can eat the roasted fruit right along with the chicken. No one is exactly sure about the botanical origin of Meyer lemons, but they are probably a cross between a regular lemon and some type of orange. Cut the slices between 1/8 and 1/4 inch, and remove the seeds before adding them to the chicken…they become wonderfully tender in the oven. I make it a point to get a bit of lemon with every bite of chicken. It’s fabulous.
- I chicken, cut in pieces (I like to cut the breasts in half for more even cooking)
- 2 Meyer lemons, washed and cut in 1/4 inch slices
- a handful of fresh thyme sprigs
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil (I like O Meyer Lemon Olive Oil)
- 1/4 cup Limoncello lemon liqueur
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp stone ground Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- Set oven to 475F
- Whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Sprinkle the chicken pieces liberally with salt and plenty of pepper.
- Line a baking sheet completely with foil or parchment paper and lay the chicken out, along with the sliced lemon and some of the fresh thyme. Make sure your pan is big enough so you don't crowd the chicken.
- Pour most of the sauce evenly over the chicken pieces, reserving a little for basting later.
- Bake the chicken for about 35-45 minutes until golden and crisp on the outside. Baste the chicken with a little of the reserved sauce about 5 or 10 minutes before it is done.
- Serve hot with the lemon slices on the side.
Be sure your oven is nice and hot so the chicken and lemons can get beautifully crisped, and even a little bit singed. This recipe was inspired by Yotem Ottolenghi
This chicken roasts at 475F, hence the gorgeous color and crispy skin. I love cooking at high heats, it must be a primal instinct. I love the sputtering, sizzling sounds and smells, and it’s fun to watch all the action safely through the oven window. Taking food just to the brink of burning develops an alluring flavor, especially in meat. Be sure to cover your pan well, because the sauce will burn. I would actually recommend taking the foil and wrapping it up around the lip of the baking sheet to be extra sure. I used parchment paper and had a messy pan to clean up.
I promise you, chicken doesn’t get any better than this.