Chicken with the Ultimate Lemon and Rosemary Sauce

While making the roasted oranges the other day, it reminded me of my ultimate favorite lemon sauce.  It’s actually the method of broiling the lemons that sends it over the top!  The lemons are cut crosswise, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper and broiled until the pulp softens and plumps up.  When cooled, the pulp and juice is squeezed out resulting in gently sweet, tart lemony goodness.  I learned this from my favorite chef, Michael Chiarello and became my best tip for creating many other lemony sauces. 

The chicken itself is moist and perfectly baked every time.  A simple chicken and potato dish fabulous for a lazy Sunday afternoon.  There are a few steps involved, but having everything mise en place (put in place) will allow this and anything else you’re cooking to be prepared with relative ease.  At the final point in preparing the sauce, if it tastes too lemony for your preference, adding a tablespoon of butter to the sauce should mellow it as well as add a nice gloss to your sauce!

Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary Sauce

Recipe adapted from Michael Chiarello, Tra Vigne Cookbook

2 large lemons

Kosher Salt (or Gray Salt)

Freshly ground black pepper

1 4-5 lb. chicken, cut in parts, skin on

Olive oil for sautéing

1 ½ pounds small new potatoes

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1 cup double strength chicken stock – boil 2 cups of stock until reduced by half

¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 tablespoon butter, optional

For the broiled lemons:  Preheat the broiler.  Cut a small slice off both ends of each lemon (to allow the lemons not to roll) and then cut in half crosswise.  Arrange the lemons on a baking dish suitable for broiling, drizzle on olive oil and sprinkle on kosher salt and pepper.  Broil until brown, plump and soft, about 10 minutes.  Remove and cool.  Squeeze the lemon over a sieve to capture any seeds and squeeze out all the pulp and juice, mashing to get out as much as possible.  Discard the peels and set aside.

For the potatoes:  In a large pot, place cut up potatoes in cold water and bring to boil.  Simmer until tender about 15 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

For the chicken:  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  In a large ovenproof skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat until hot.  Add the chicken, lower to medium and cook, turning once until brown on both sides, about 10 minutes.  Remove to a platter.

Return the skillet to medium high heat, add additional oil if necessary and add in the precooked potatoes.  Season with salt and pepper and allow to brown all over, about 10 minutes.  Drain off any excess oil, top the potatoes with the chicken pieces and place in the oven to continue cooking about 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.  Remove the chicken to a platter, placing the potatoes to the side.  Return the skillet to medium high heat on the stove top.  Add the lemon juice and pulp, garlic and rosemary scraping the bottom of the pan.  Add in the reduced chicken stock and simmer.   Stir in the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.  If sauce tastes too lemony, stir in the optional tablespoon of butter.  Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.  Makes about 4 servings.

January is #citruslove month!
Please join in on the #citruslove by linking up any citrus recipe from the month of January 2012.  Don’t forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #citruslove event! The twitter hastag is #citruslove :).
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62 thoughts on “Chicken with the Ultimate Lemon and Rosemary Sauce

  1. I love this dish. Mom made a very similar one, using white wine along with the lemons & rosemary. She called it her “crazy gravy” and we kids loved the idea of having wine in our meal. Little did we understand that the alcohol had been burned off long before the chicken ever reached the dinner table. It’s a great recipe and it brought to mind a great memory. Thanks, Linda, for both. 🙂

    1. Crazy gravy…I like that!! I have done other versions also using white wine and I do remember my kids feeling all “adult” when I told them I made something with wine in it!! Glad I could bring back some memories to you!!

  2. Rosemary is my favorite herb right now. I bet its wonderful with the lemon flavors here. Have you ever eaten the lemon? I do a lemon caper chicken recipe where they simmer for so long int he broth they become delicious and tender – perfect compliment to the dish.

  3. You are definitely on a roll!

    I love roasted lemon vinaigrette, blogged about it a year or so ago, but the idea of using it to roast chicken is pure genius!

    Gotta make this for sure!

  4. Wonderful – I generally roast my chicken stuffed with lemons, garlic and rosemary but this takes it to another level. I love the idea of grilling (that´s broiling right?) the lemons. In fact, I might just grill some later this evening as we have so many on the house!

    1. A stuffed chicken like you mentioned is fabulous too. This cooks quicker being cut up. You can grill the lemons as well. Broiling is from on top and I do it slowly, not a close distance from the source to gently heat up, plump and brown.

  5. Linda… I adore lemon chicken and if this is the ‘ultimate’ lemon sauce, you know I’m in 110%! and who doesn’t like rosemary… too bad I already planned my dinner for tonight – next time I’m at the grocery store (in an hour or so – ha.ha) I’ll be picking up the ingredients!

    1. I know I’m going out on a limb here with the “ultimate” as I’ve made lemon sauces in the past with freshly squeezed lemon juice but the broiling of the pulp truly adds another dimension and flavor to the sauce. Hope you try it!!

  6. What a great recipe Linda and it looks so delicious. I cook something similar with chicken, onions, lemons, green olives and white wine. But this looks like such a fabulous family meal.

  7. Linda, your citrus recipes are making me drool! This sounds so delicious. Again, I never would have thought about broiling lemons. I’m definitely going to be making this recipe. It sounds like a great way to liven up some chicken!

  8. Ooh “ultimate” sauce? Wow, that’s a great idea – broiling the lemons first. I gotta try this for myself! Loving the look of this Linda – thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to give it a try!

  9. This sounds wonderful. Rosemary and lemon have an affinity for each other and they are used wonderfully here. I really like your recipe. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

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