Amazingly Delicious Lemon Roast Chicken Recipe

In our previous posting How to Properly Roast A Chicken, we described how roast a chicken so that the skin is crisp and the meat stays moist and tender. 

The easiest seasonings for a roast chicken are either salt and pepper or a pre-mixed seasoning such as McCormick Season All.  Both work well and you'll get a wonderfully flavorful chicken.  However, with just a small amount of additional work, you can kick this recipe up one notch and create Lemon Roast Chicken.

The trick is to use slices of a condiment called preserved lemon. You place slices of the preserved lemon peel under the skin of the chicken prior to roasting; the lemon infuses the meat with a wonderful lemony flavor that is a totally different take on roast chicken.

To do this, you just cut the preserved lemon peel into thin slices and slide them under the skin covering the breast, legs and thighs of the chicken. Start by lifting up the skin on the breast and pushing the preserved lemon pieces under the skin on the thighs with one finger. Then do the same for the legs and finally the breast. Roast using the same method described in our prior posting. You should rub a little olive oil, salt and pepper on the skin for this recipe as well but go lighter on the salt because there's lots of it in the preserved lemons.

Homemade Preserved Lemons Keep For A Year In the Refrigerator

So What Is Preserved Lemon?

Preserved lemons are a condiment used frequently in North African cooking - particularly in dishes from Morocco. They are made by preserving the lemons in salt which gives them an intensely lemony flavor that is also surprisingly mild. Truly, you have to taste them to understand how unusual and delicious they are.  

While it's possible to buy preserved lemons in a specialty grocery stores, it's madness to buy them when you can make them so easily at home. Once made, they will keep  in the refrigerator for up to one year and can be used on chicken, fish, and even in soups.

Preserved Lemon Recipe


  • 11 Lemons, preferably organic lemons
  • 2/3 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice 5 of the lemons
  • Blanch the remaining 6 lemons in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  • When cool enough to handle, slice the lemons into wedges, discard the seeds and place into a bowl.
  • Add salt to the bowl and toss the lemons to cover them.
  • Tightly pack the lemons and salt into a jar and completely cover with the lemon juice.
  • Let sit out on your counter at room temperature for 5 days. Shake the jar once per day for 5 days.
  • Add the olive oil and refrigerate.
Give preserved roast chicken with preserved lemons a try. We think you'll be surprised how amazing this dish tastes and it's so simple!


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