When meyer lemon season begins to peak, a favorite lemon chicken dinner is to oven roast a whole chicken that’s lathered with meyer lemon and herbs. Fragrant rosemary, fresh meyer lemon juice and tons of meyer lemon zest all infuse into this whole baked chicken to make a fabulous and quick and easy dinner. Unlike the common Eureka lemons, these meyer lemons bring a beautiful floral aroma to the oven roasted chicken. Combine the earthy flavors of the fresh rosemary, what you have is a perfectly juicy, moist and fresh lemon and herb baked chicken.
If you don’t have meyer lemons, you can use regular lemons and other herbs. Almost any combination of herbs, including dry herbs, make a marinade. Probably our favorite classic baked or roasted chicken recipe has this duo combination and you really can’t go wrong. It’s hard to resist the citrus flair and fragrant balance of herbs on the crispy lemon chicken skin. This recipe is so good, be prepared to have it as your go-to lemon and herb whole baked chicken recipe!
Photo Tutorial for Meyer Lemon & Herbs Roast Chicken Recipe
Video for How to Oven Roast a Whole Chicken
(we know, it isn’t quite the same recipe, but it may help give a general visual on how to prepare the meyer lemon-rosemary roast chicken)
Video on How to Truss a Chicken
This can always be done with regular lemons, but the meyer lemons add a nice mellow brightness which is perfect to not overpower the rosemary. Fresh rosemary is easily tastier than dried, but if that is all you can get, it makes a passable substitute. Please read post for more recipe details.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Pat dry the chicken. For the crispiest skin- see step 2. For quickest preparation- proceed to step 3.
Sprinkle salt over all surfaces of chicken. Set on a plate, place in fridge and allow to air dry for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Remove from fridge and pat dry water that had come to skin surface.
Combine olive oil, rosemary, and meyer lemon zest. Truss the chicken if desired (see video in post for trussing instructions). Place in a baking dish.
Spread rosemary mixture evenly over the chicken. Squeeze one whole meyer lemon worth of quarters over and inside the chicken and place the squeezed pieces in the roasting pan with the chicken. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper.
Roast for about 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 35 minutes or until juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh or the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F when probed with an instant read thermometer.
Remove from oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Carve and serve with the remaining meyer lemon quarters to squeeze as desired.