Meyer Lemon Roasted Chicken


My husband and I have never been the traditional type when it comes down to food for Thanksgiving and Christmas. For the past 2 years, we have been making some kind of whole roasted chicken for the holidays and this one has my far been my favorite.

Meyer lemons are a hybrid between a mandarin and lemon, they’re usually found in season during the winter time. Like most citrus, it pairs great with chicken and tons of herbs. Oh and butter…lots of butter! This combination makes for an earthy, tangy yet a little sweet, rich and juicy chicken. It’s so easy and simple to make, yet you still feel somewhat bougie because it’s not every day you indulge in meyer lemons.


Difficulty: Intermediate  Yields:  4  Prep Time: 15 mn Cook Time:  30-40 minutes


  • 1-4 lb organic whole chicken

  • 8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

  • 6 sprigs of thyme

  • 1 sprig of rosemary

  • 1 sprig of sage

  • 2 meyer lemons, juice and zest

  • 1/4 cup melted butter

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp pepper

  • pinch of red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 cup white wine or chicken stock


Preheat oven to 425. Pat dry chicken and spatchcock, or butterfly, your chicken by removing the back using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife* (see note). Lay the chicken with the breast facing up and press down on the breast bone to crack the rib cage, laying the chicken flat. Tuck in wings. Place chicken in roasting pan or sheet tray.

In a bowl, mix the remaining ingredients through red pepper flakes. Spread marinade over chicken and allow it to sit for 30 minutes minimum to 2 hours maximum. Place oven, in the middle rack, and cook for 30-40 minutes, turning pan and basting with pan drippings half way through. Chicken will be done when internal temperature, of thickest area, reaches 165 or juices run clear. Allow the chicken to rest for 15 minutes before cutting. Carve and serve with additional wedges of meyer lemon and pan drippings.


  • * If you are not familiar with the spatchcock technique, you can watch a video here. You can also ask your butcher to do it for you, they usually don’t have any issues. Another option is to forego this step, however your cooking time will vary by at least another 30 minutes.

  • Bring chicken to room temp before cooking in the oven. A cold chicken in a blazing hot oven doesn’t cook evenly.

  • This recipe can also be made using regular lemons, various herbs and precut chicken breast/thighs, feel free to improvise with what you have on hand.