LEMON CHICKEN by Marcella Hazan

Here comes the most famous, most purest and most delicious chicken dish by Marcella Hazan.

You only need a high-quality organic chicken and an organic lemon (Amalfi).

Of course I am aware of the fact that most of the people on this board know this recipe already. But despite the fact that I made this dish already several times, every time I am surprised how good and satisfying it is.


1 organic chicken

1 organic lemon (Amalfi)

optional: 1kg fingerling potatoes


  1. Prick the lemon with a skewer, 30-40 times.


  1. Now put the lemon inside the chicken.


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C. Season the chicken with salt&pepper. Add chicken with breast down to a roasting tin or an ovenproof form. Put in the oven for 30min.


  1. After 30min add potatoes and a bit oil, also salt. Now add the chicken with the breast upside for another 30min

5. After 30min heat oven to 200 C and let the chicken roast for another 20-30min

6. Carefully remove the lemon from the chicken and halve it. Let the juice combine with the chicken fat. ENJOY



This just may be my death bed meal. With a glass of Chenin or Chard… I usually add some celery and onions to the bed beneath the chicken.

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I forgot about this recipe. It is how we always make chicken. Though I had garlic cloves and some herbs in the cavity. Sometimes sliced potatoes under the chicken. Or onions. Or both. So easy and so delicious. Everything we try another roast chicken recipe it never comes close to this one.

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350F = 180C give or take. 400F = 200C.Hoping to save someone some time googling.

Where did you get that chicken? The coloring on your breast side down picture is amazing. Most super market chickens are pale and watery compared to the bird you are cooking.



I have made this about 293 times. Sometimes I improvise and use 2 lemons.

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It’s an outdoor organic chicken from France. In addition it’s corn-fed therefore the yellow color.
It’s 1.8 kg and I paid around 20-25€, worth every penny.

I have bought it in a special shop for restaurants where you can buy high-quality fish&seefood, meat, fruit&vegetables, cheese etc. and poultry.

made it tonight but basted w butter. And two lemons. Delish. Organic free range bird.

Birds in Europe are generally a lot better than what you find in the mainstream here in the US.

But you can get better poultry either mail order (e.g., d’Artagnan green circle) or in Asian markets (e.g. the misnamed “Buddhist Exemption” chickens).

No one would doubt that. Dartagan’s green circle chicken is supposed to be good. I’ve thought about it, but does chicken freeze well.

yes it does. Pasturebird as good as Green Circle but neither is Bresse level.

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Bresse are incredible.

A variation I do here is rubbing finely minced preserved lemon under the skin then letting it sit all day to dry out and brine. Provides such a complexity to the citrus flavor that also penetrates the bird.

And I always season the cavity liberally.
Sometimes I add lightly toasted and freshly ground coriander seed to my wall/pepper blend. It plays really well with the lemon.
Tarragon and chervil also work well.

When you do this do you leave it out at room temp or in the fridge? We sometimes have the chicken uncovered in the fridge all day but we often don’t have room.

I hope you’re joking, although some Europeans have a rep for long hang times on game.
Sarah uses a fan to help the drying.

Yes I have seen the fan. But is that at room temp? I am reluctant to leave the chicken out at room temp for long – and you seem to agree. So I assume everyone does this in a refrigerator? Or am I missing a nice workaround that won’t kill me? :slight_smile:

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Maybe up to 4 hours at room temp, but dry the skin in the fridge b4 The Best Ways to Cook Chicken

As does sumac.

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Good call from Brian! For me I don’t personally worry about a day at room temp under a fan if the bird is salted. The great majority of worry is surficial bacteria, and roasting takes care of both internal and external. A bit of light cure (salt or bacteria) on most protein is always a positive.

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