Pan Roasted Lemon Chicken

On the weekends, I sometimes luck out and get to hog the tv while the Hubby is still in bed and get to watch my fill of cooking shows. This weekend was one of those lucky times. I was watching the Barefoot Contessa and she made a pan roasted lemon chicken that filled all sorts of criteria for a must-make recipe. It was easy to put together. It looked Greek inspired in flavour – which means yummy. It was baked in one dish, meaning easy cleanup.

I added a bit more herbs and garlic than was in her recipe, but otherwise it was almost the same. I love doing one pan dishes and I love lemon and chicken. I’m not a huge fan of roast chickens, but this one pretty darn good. I had a mini bottle of dry champagne so I used that instead of wine and it worked well. Don’t use a sweet champagne, though!

Pan Roasted Lemon Chicken

Pan Roasted Lemon Chicken


  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh sage chopped small
  • 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1 lemon quartered and sliced
  • 1 yellow onion quartered and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 4-pound chicken, backbone removed and butterflied
  • ½ cup dry white wine or dry brut champagne
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Mediterranean salt
  • Fresh ground pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Spread the lemon slices in a cast iron skillet
  • Spread the sliced onions on top of the lemon.
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the minced garlic over.
  • Lay down sprigs of sage and thyme, and give a sprinkling of oregano over everything.
  • Place the thyme, fennel seeds, oregano, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon ground pepper in a mini food processor and process until ground.
  • Pour the oil into a small glass measuring cup, add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, and the herb mixture, stir to mix and set aside.
  • Place the butterflied chicken breast side down and brush with the herb oil.
  • Flip the chicken over, pat dry with a paper towel and lift the skin off the breast. Brush with the herb oil on the skin as well as under it.
  • Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Pour the wine/champagne around the chicken and bake for another 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, pour the lemon juice over the chicken and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Serve the chicken with the pan juices.


Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
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