Roasted Lemon Rosemary French Chicken Recipe

lemon roast chicken
Lemon Roast Chicken. Iain Bagwell - Getty Images
  • Total: 105 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 75 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8

This is a lovely French recipe which brings together some lovely French flavours all brought together with a fabulous roast chicken. 

The roasted chicken takes a little preparation and a little patience. Browning the chicken before roasting it gets a little messy. That small little hassle is time well spent, though as the flavor is superior to that of more simply prepared roasts. A little effort for a great reward. 


  • 1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 16 pearl onions, peeled and trimmed
  • 5 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves of garlic, separated and peeled
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 (4-5 lb) chicken, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup Chardonnay
  • 1 cup chicken stock

Steps to Make It

Preheat oven to 450F.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic cloves, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. When the vegetables are caramelized, spoon them along the sides of a large roasting pan and set it aside.

Reduce the burner heat slightly and allow the pan to cool a bit. Add 2 tablespoons oil to pan and return the pan to medium-high heat. Season the prepared chicken with the remaining salt and pepper, and brown it in the hot oil. Transfer the chicken to the center of the roasting pan, carefully cut 1-inch slits into the skin, and pour the pan juices on top of the chicken. Very carefully pull open the slits in the skin and rub the lemon zest, parsley, rosemary, and thyme under the skin.

Add the wine to the skillet and deglaze, scraping up any browned bits from the pan. After the wine has simmered for 30 seconds, add the chicken stock and heat through. Pour the wine sauce over the chicken. Cover the roasting pan with a lid or tightly sealed foil and roast in the preheated oven for 60-70 minutes, until the chicken tests 170 when a thermometer is inserted in the thigh. Allow the chicken to stand at room temperature in the pan for 10 minutes before carving.

Serve the chicken surrounded by the roast vegetables. Do not forget to make the gravy using the juices left in the pan from the cooking. 

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe Tags: