A Meyer lemon is just about my favorite fruit. It has a thin skin, is incredibly juicy and tastes much sweeter than any other lemon I have sampled. We are lucky to have a tree in our garden that produces fruit about nine months of the year. My Mom’s fruit bowl (shown here) is nice and full of these beauties right now…
When I saw Ina Garten serving roasted lemons along with her delicious roast chicken, I thought, “I can do that with my lemons!” Ina is the master, but I believe most lemons might taste too bitter to serve.
I think the mighty Meyer wins again, at least in our family.
Serves 6, or 2-4 with leftovers
- one 5 lb. best quality roasting chicken
- 1 head of garlic, halved
- 4 Meyer lemons
- 1 bouquet of fresh thyme, tied with string
- 4 tablespoons good quality olive oil
- kosher salt and ground pepper
- 1 cup good white wine
1. Remove inner “parts” and pull off large glob of fat near opening of the cavity. Wash and dry the chicken, salt and pepper inside cavity. Place the halved garlic head and one lemon, also cut in half, inside the chicken. Tie legs together with butcher’s string and fold wings under. Stick thyme bouquet half in/half out of chicken cavity.
2. Quarter remaining three lemons and place in roasting pan close to chicken. Rub some olive oil over top of chicken and toss lemons with rest of oil. Salt and pepper chicken and lemons. Add wine to pan.
3. Roast at 375 degrees for 2 hours. Allow chicken to rest, covered, while you make the sauce (recipe below).
Sauce for Chicken:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but not melted
- 2 tablespoons white unbleached flour
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons cognac
1. Remove lemons from pan and reserve, keeping warm. Place roasting pan and its juices back on the stove and turn on the two burners it covers to low heat. (Be sure to add any juices collected under the resting chicken. A big chicken usually provides sufficient juices. You can add a little stock if needed.)
2. Mash the softened butter into the flour and whisk into the pan juices which are simmering. Sauce will thicken. Add cream and cognac. Taste and correct seasoning.
3. Remove and discard thyme bouquet. Carve and serve chicken on a warmed platter, along with the roasted lemons. Drizzle sauce over all or serve separately in a warmed pitcher.