April – Lemon Rosemary Chicken

This roast chicken gets a triple dose of lemon from preserved lemons (or Meyer lemon Aigre-doux), fresh lemons, and a spicy lemon pickle relish.

There isn’t much to say about this recipe except it is easy, wonderfully flavorful, spring-like, company worthy, and beautiful. Roast some asparagus in the oven for the last 15 minutes. Or, toss together a salad and you have a fantastic dinner with very little effort on your part. The quick lemon pickle I served with it is delicious (I will post the recipe soon), but a few wedges of fresh lemon on the side would work just as well.

Lemon Rosemary Roast Chicken

Lemon Rosemary Roast Chicken

If your oven is on to cook one chicken, you may as well cook two. Rotisserie or roast chickens are amazingly versatile and lend themselves to wonderful leftovers. All too often, the ones from the supermarket are injected with ingredients that you don’t need to eat. This recipe is for one chicken, but easily doubled for two.


  • 1 whole chicken – at least 4 pounds and preferably organic
  • 1 preserved lemon or 1 lemon from Meyer lemon Aigre-doux
  • 1 fresh lemon, washed and halved
  • 2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary, 1 whole and 1 minced
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • a dozen baby potatoes – yellow finn or red


  1. Dry the chicken and remove the package of giblets, I keep a large ziplock bag in the freezer for such things. When I have enough (that is usually when I can’t close the freezer door anymore), I make stock.
  2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F
  3. Place the potatoes in the bottom of a large roasting pan. You can either roast the chicken on a rack over the potatoes or place it directly on top.
  4. Place the cut and halved lemon and 1 whole sprig of rosemary inside the chicken.
  5. Remove the pulp from the preserved lemon or lemon Aigre-doux, rinse briefly, then mince and mix into the softened butter, add the minced rosemary and mix together. I found it easier to do this with my hands.
  6. Rub the outside of the chicken with the butter mixture, pushing some under the skin and over the meat of the breast.
  7. Turn it breast side down and roast for 25 minutes.
  8. After 25 minutes, carefully turn the chicken (give the potatoes a toss) breast side up and return to the oven for another 35 minutes.
  9. Check to see if the chicken is done, juices should run clear and an instant read thermometer read 160 degrees F when stuck in the thickest part of the thigh. Put it back in the oven if needed but check frequently to see it doesn’t overcook.

    Lemon and Rosemary Chicken

    Lemon and Rosemary Chicken

  10. Remove the chickens from the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes to let the juices settle before carving.
  11. Check the potatoes, depending on size they may need to go back into the oven for 10-15 minutes to finish cooking and browning.

The potatoes were basted with the dripping juices from the chicken as it cooked. Wonderful!

Roast Potatoes

Roast Potatoes

Lemon Rosemary Chicken with Quick Lemon Pickle

Lemon Rosemary Chicken with Quick Lemon Pickle

A glass of champagne is the perfect accompaniment.

I’m taking this to share at Angie’s Fiesta Friday. Come join us at Fiesta Friday #116 by adding your link to FiestaFriday.net and the co-hosts’ blogs. The co-hosts this week are Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju and Cynthia @ eatmunchlove

6 thoughts on “April – Lemon Rosemary Chicken

  1. Pingback: April Challenge-“THE SURPRISE” – Lin's Recipes

  2. Pingback: April – Quick Meyer Lemon Pickle – spades, spatulas & spoons

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