Total Time
1hr 10mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 50 mins

A chicken with ultracrisp skin and a subtle lemon flavor. Rumor has it that if you cook this for your boyfriend he will propose.. here's to hoping. :o)


  1. Place rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash chicken inside and out with cold water, remove the giblets, then let the chicken drain, cavity down, in a colander until it reaches room temperature (about 15 min) Pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Pour lemon juice all over the chicken (inside and outside) season with salt and pepper.
  4. Prick the whole lemons three times with a fork and place deep inside the cavity.
  5. (Tip: If lemons are hard, roll on the countertop with your palm to get juices flowing.) Place the chicken breast-side down on a rack in a roasting pan, lower heat to 350 and bake uncovered for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and turn it breast-side up (use wooden spoons!); return it to oven for 35 minutes more.
  7. Test for doneness - a meat thermometer inserted in the thigh should read 180, or juices should run clear when chicken is pricked with a fork.
  8. Continue baking if necessary.
  9. Let chicken cool for a few minutes before carving.
  10. Serve with juices.
  11. Serve with boiled new potatoes tossed with olive oil and fresh chopped parsley and/or steamed asparagus with butter.
  12. Enjoy.


Most Helpful

This chicken recipe came out great, it's perfect!! Thanks for the tip on softening the lemons. Believe it or not my boyfriend proposed to me!!!!!!! The weekend after i made this chicken. Simple and Delicious!!!! Thanks Ashbabe!

Mye Mye February 17, 2004

I told myself I wouldn't rate this recipe until I got engaged...and now I finally am engaged!! It did take me 2-3 times making a modified version of this dish before he proposed though :P Overall, this is a very nice base recipe. On its own, I think it would be too bland/simple for my tastes. To perk it up, I added some garlic cloves and sprigs of rosemary to the cavity of the bird, and sliced almost all the way through the lemons. I also made small slits in the skin under the breast/thigh meat and rubbed a mixture of lemon zest/butter/garlic slivers/rosemary under the skin for more flavor. I also rubbed zest over the outside of the hen along with the salt and pepper. Instead of using a whole chicken, I used a Cornish Game Hen to split between the two of us, and covered the dish with foil during the first half of cooking to keep it from drying out too much.

Sephardi Kitchen May 27, 2011

So simple and yummy! Next time I'll add garlic cloves.

TheCatalyst April 11, 2011

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