Meyer Lemon Roast Chicken is a delicious way to perk up your weekly meal plan ~ the flavors are bright and sunny, and the whole dish looks as beautiful as it tastes!
This vibrant and citrusy roast chicken will make a regular old weekday meal feel special. It doesn’t take any more time than plain oven roasted chicken, but a quick sauce of Limoncello lemon liqueur, olive oil, lemon juice and stone ground Dijon mustard makes the whole thing sing.
what’s the deal with Meyer lemons?
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.
the key to that crispy chicken skin
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.
Other chicken recipes you might enjoy ~
- Lemony Chicken Soup with Orzo
- Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Apples and Brown Cabbage
- Thai Chicken Salad
- Firecracker Chicken
- Creamy Chicken with Wild Rice and Mushrooms
Meyer Lemon Roast Chicken
- 1 whole 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
for the sauce
- 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
- Preheat 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.
This recipe was inspired by Yotem Ottolenghi
Questions and Reviews
This is the absolute favorite dinner of both my roommates. We are from California but now live on the east coast, but have friends with Meyer lemon trees near Sacramento and they send us a box of them twice a year. We never manage to use the Meyers for desserts or lemonade. They have to be used for this dish.
We don’t keep limoncello on hand and substitute with vodka mixed with triple sec or simple syrup. Also, dried thyme instead of fresh, most of the time.
This was sooo delicious!! I LOVED the sauce!! It was also quick and easy to prepare and clean up. My new favorite chicken recipe!!!
This recipe was delicious. I wrote a more detailed comment that disappeared before I could post it, so I’ll make this one shorter. I used bone-in skin-on chicken thighs and regular lemons with great results;baked the the thighs for about 50 minutes and they were moist inside, crisp outside, deliciously seasoned. The lemon slices were tender and delicious as well, although not everyone ate them. I will make this recipe many more times; it was easy and so delicious. Everyone at my table loved it!
Thanks so much for posting Carolyn, I’m so sorry your first comment got lost, I hate that! I can imagine thighs would work great, I’m a recent convert to dark meat, I don’t know what took me so long. I’m also glad to know that regular lemons work well, too, I may need to test that out this week 😉
Is the baking sheet necessary? I don’t think we have those in Brazil D=
I would just use a large pan, Ligia, so the chicken has enough room to crisp up in the oven.
Is there anything I can substitute for the limoncello? We don’t typically use it and don’t want to buy a whole bottle for one recipe.
You can substitute white wine, or chicken stock, or even water!
I made this the other night and it was easy and delicious…Making it again for another dinner party..Curious…what sides do you serve with this recipe?
I like a green veggie with this, like beans, Brussels sprouts, peas, broccoli or asparagus. Except for the peas you can roast these in the oven or steam them. I like to keep it light with couscous for the starch. In the summer we go for a salad
Thinking of making this for dinner. But, I only use boneless and skinless chicken. Any changes I should make to the recipe?
I think you could do it the same way, April, but just reduce the cooking time.
This sounds amazing. I found this recipe on Pinterest but it wasn’t from your Pinterest. Have you heard of Best Recipes Ever? It looks like she reposts word for word recipes she has found and uses their original photo. At the very end she has in small type, “Recipe From: blah, blah blah.” I clicked on that and reached this page. Just wasn’t sure if you gave permission. I have caught people stealing my content and reposting it to look like their own and besides it being copyright infringement it just downright chaps my hide. It’a a blogspot blog.
Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know, Ani, I appreciate it. It’s very discouraging, and this is one of my favorite recipes!