lemon chicken

Lemon Chicken

This Lemon chicken recipe produces a flavorful and  moist chicken. I use the Meyer lemons from my Sunnyvale garden as well as garden herbs like oregano, sage, rosemary, and marjoram. A Meyer lemon is a cross between a lemon and an orange.


  • 4 celery stalks coarsely chopped
  • 4 medium carrots coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • Dry rub mix
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Meyer lemon (either quartered or smaller)
  • 1 4-lb chicken

Dry rub mix

  • 1 tsp fennel
  • 1 tsp Chile flakes
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp of Poultry Seasonings (Thyme, Majoram, Rosemary, Oregano, a small amount of Sage)
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Mix dry rub ingredients in a small bowl

Coarsely chop the celery, carrots, and onion then put them in a roasting pan. Celery, carrots, and onion (aka mirepoix) are the holy trinity of aromatics used in French cooking. Optional extras are other root vegetables like parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, and potatoes.

The messy steps:

  • Remove gizzard and internal organs from the cavity of the chicken.
  • Pat dry the chicken with some paper towels.
  • Apply olive oil to both the outside and inside of the chicken.
  • Sprinkle the dry rub mix to both the outside and inside of the chicken
  • Insert the quartered lemons into the cavity of the chicken.
  • Place the chicken in the roasting pan. I don’t know if it makes a difference to place it breast-up or breast-down.

Wash your hands.

Place uncovered in 400 degree oven on middle rack for 15 minutes (this is to crisp the chicken skin). Cover the roasting pan with either a lid or foil. Turn down heat to 275 degrees. Let cook until chicken reaches 165 degrees with a meat thermometer, about 2 hours.


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