Skillet Roasted Lemon Chicken

Skillet Roasted Lemon Chicken

  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp whole fennel seed
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 80ml extra virgin olive oil (1/3 cup)
  • 1 whole lemon, plus the juice of one lemon
  • 1 onion, peeled and then sliced into half moons
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 (4-pound) roasting chicken, backborn removed, and spatchcocked
  • 120ml dry white wine (1/2 cup) (Pinot Grigio recommended)


  1. Preheat the oven to 230*C/450*F/ gas mark 7.  Have ready a  deep oven proof skillet (or baking dish), large enough to hold everything. (I used my 10-inch cast iron skillet.)
  2. Place the fresh thyme leaves, fennel seed, 1 TBS of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper into a mini food processor or spice grinder.    Process until ground. I did mine very fine. You can leave it a bit coarser if you want.  Measure out the olive oil and then stir the herb mixture into it.
  3. Slice the whole lemon in half from top to bottom.  Lop off both ends and discard.  Cut the halves crosswise  into 1/4 inch thick halfmoons.  Place these into the bottom of the skillet.  Top with the sliced onion.
  4. Spatchcock your chicken.  You can freeze the neck to make stock at a later date.  Brush the underside of your chicken all over with the herb/olive oil mixture.  Place skin side up on top of the lemons and onions.  Pat dry.  Brush all over with the remaining herb/olive oil mixture.
  5. Roast in the preheated oven for half an hour.  Pour the white wine into the skillet around the edge, missing the chicken.  Roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the chicken tests done. (leg should move easily in it socket, juices run clear and temperature in the thickest part measure at 72*C/155-160*F
  6. Remove the chicken from the oven. Sprinkle it with the juice from the other lemon.  Cover tightly with aluminium foil and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.  Quarter the chicken, or cut into 8ths.  Sprinkle with some salt and serve hot with some of the pan juices, lemon and onions spooned over top.  Delicious!

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