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Roast Chicken with Meyer Lemon & Sage


This Roast Chicken with Meyer Lemon and Sage is a delicious recipe, that came together really fast. I used fresh sage from my garden.

With the leftover carcass, I made a beautiful chicken stock-- about 4 quarts of it. I simply added a bouquet garni of fresh rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley. I added the roasted carrots and onions (opting not to include it in my pan sauce-- which was delicious, by the way). The stock tastes lovely, and it's in the freezer for future meals.

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  • 1 (3.5-pound) whole chicken (Free range/Organic and fresh if at all possible)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 fresh sage leaves (or tarragon, rosemary, or basil)
  • 2 large lemons, cut in 1/4 inch slices (Meyer lemons if available)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
  • 2/3 cup mixed roughly chopped carrots and onions
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons minced shallot, or scallion
  • 1/3 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
  • 2/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
  • Special equipment:
  • A roasting pan 2-6 inches deep, a V-shaped roasting rack; a pastry brush for basting; a board or platter for resting and carving; cotton kitchen twine


Servings 4
Preparation time 10mins
Cooking time 100mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Remove the chicken from the fridge and set out on a counter for 30 minutes.

Place the oven rack on the lower level of the oven, and preheat the oven to 425°F.

Rinse the chicken well (inside and out) and pat it dry with paper towels.

Tuck the wings up against the breast where they will be held in place by the rack.

Cut 6 tablespoons of butter into small pieces. Carefully slide your hand underneath the chicken skin, and gently move over the breast and leg meat to create space between the skin and the meat*. You don't want to tear the skin, so try to keep your hand as flat as possible and work slowly if necessary. Once you've created space, evenly distribute the butter beneath the skin.

Next, take 6 lemon slices and slide them underneath the skin, giving them a slight squeeze, and again evenly distributing them on top of the breast and thigh meat.

Finally, evenly distribute sage leaves underneath the skin as well.

Take the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and gently rub it all over the outside skin of the chicken. Salt and pepper the outside of the chicken and inside the cavity. Drop 2 lemon slices and any leftover herbs into the cavity, giving the slices a slight squeeze as you place them inside.

Tie the ends of the drumsticks together with twine. Place the chicken breast up on the rack in the roasting pan. Finally, squeeze the juice of the remaining lemon pieces all over the top of the chicken.

Place roasting pan in the oven, with the chicken legs pointed to the back of the oven if the pan will fit this direction.

After 15 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 350°F.

Check on the chicken every fifteen minutes or so, and when you see it beginning to brown quickly on top, baste the chicken with the pan juices. If there is no liquid in the bottom of the pan, add a 1/2 cup of water or chicken stock to the pan.

After 30 minutes has passed, place the onions and carrots into the pan and continue cooking.

Roast the chicken for an hour, basting several times. The chicken will be done when the juices run clear and when the leg joint can be easily moved if wiggled. A thermometer inserted into the thick part of the thigh should read 180 degrees.

Depending on the size of the chicken this will take 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

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