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Monday, April 1, 2013

Oven Roasted Chicken with Lemon

I roasted a chicken for dinner a while back. Was feeling creative and decided to stuff lemon slices beneath the skin for a great lemony flavor.
It turned out quite nice and very pretty. Below is another picture with the skin removed so you can see what it looked like.
Not in the photo but I had some cottage cheese on the side as well and also made a quick gravy from the juice left behind in the pan.
Lets start with the easy things first.
(cook time 1 1/2 hours)
(serves 4-6)
Roasted Vegetables

Baby carrots 1/2 lbs. bag
Celery 5-6 stalks
Yellow onions 1 medium
Fingerling potatoes 1/2 lbs.

Cut the vegetables in similar size and length.
Sprinkle some fresh ground pepper, dried parsley and dried thyme on top and toss them around in some olive oil, you will need very little maybe 1/2 Tbs.
These will bake along side the chicken for an hour.
Make sure to turn their sides half way through cooking time.
Sprinkle some sea salt after they are fully cooked but still very hot.

How to prep the chicken

Whole chicken 1
Fresh Lemon 1 large
Fresh ground pepper 1/2 tsp.
Red chili flakes 1/2tsp.
Dried thyme 1 tsp.
Dried parsley 1 tsp.
Olive oil 1 Tbs.
I used no salt

I used a mandolin to get thin slices out of the lemon.
Sprinkle the herbs and spices on the lemon slices.
Below is a picture of what it will look like.

Warning: Consider using gloves because the next step is slightly gross :-)
Hope the picture helps, it was a dark and rainy day here and therefore the dull picture.

Lift up the skin near the breast and move your hand beneath the skin to loosen it... go all the way to the thighs and the bottom side of the chicken.

Do the best you can, no need to be perfect just be careful to not tear the skin.

When the skin is good and loose, slide the lemon slices underneath the skin. Make sure to cover the thighs as well.
Rub some oil on the outside and sprinkle fresh ground coarse pepper and salt (I didn't use any) all over the chicken

Now use a kitchen twine to truss the chicken. This means using a thick cotton thread to tie the chicken. I learnt how to do it from this YouTube video.

Doing this holds the chicken together while roasting and makes it easier to turn.

Another dark and gloomy picture on the left.

Now lets bake this.
Pre heat your oven to 400 F.

Place the chicken breast side down on a roasting rack and inside a large baking dish. Most of the lemon juice will drain out and you want to collect it to make a gravy later. Bake for 40 minutes. Turn the temperature down to 375 F turn the chicken breast side up and bake for 30 minutes. At this point you will place the vegetables in the oven as well. After 30 minutes turn the chicken one last time- breast side down again- and bake for another 30 minutes.

Your bake time might be different so please use a thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is 165 F for white meat and about 180 F for dark meat.

Let the chicken rest for 20 minutes before cutting into it.
You can use this time to make the gravy.


Collect the juice that's in the backing dish. Most of the lemon flavor will be in this.
Skim the extra fat and place the juice in a saucepan.
Turn the heat on medium high and let this simmer for 5-6 minutes to thicken the gravy.
I decided not to but you can use roux or corn flour to thicken it as well.
Add some more fresh lemon juice to this.
Season with salt and pepper and you are done.


  1. Haha :-) Looking at the second picture with the skin lifted, I'd been wondering how you'd managed to get those ingredients under the skin... and then i read the rest of it.

    Mouth watering even though i just had breakfast. Cruel!

  2. Hey Usman... I am glad you liked it :-)