Roast Lemon Chicken
To get lemon flavor that's more than skin deep, we squeezed, buttered, and brined. Then we got a better idea.
Why This Recipe Works
Butterflying the chicken with kitchen shears allowed us to more easily flavor the bird with lemon and sped up roasting time for our Roast Lemon Chicken. To infuse the meat with bright lemon flavor, we made a lemon zest-sugar-salt mixture to rub into the chicken under the skin. Using zest strengthened the lemon flavor, and sugar tamed its tang. For even more lemon flavor, we roasted the chicken in a sauce of fresh lemon juice mixed with water, more lemon zest, and chicken broth. Because we butterflied the chicken, all of the meat rested in the liquid, with the skin safely above the juice to let it get crisp. Roasting the bird at a higher temperature—475 degrees—for the entire time also ensured crisp skin. While the chicken rested after roasting, we skimmed the fat from the lemony sauce, reduced it to concentrate its flavor, and then thickened it slightly with butter and cornstarch for sheen, body, and richness.