Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Lemon Rosemary Chicken

Although chicken was to be the main protein part of our supper on the night I cooked this dish, it was actually the accompaniment to a culinary experiment with Fiddlehead greens  I was trying at the time. I thought that a lemon and rosemary seasoning for the chicken would compliment the fiddlehead dish I had in mind and, although this is by no means a traditional Italian preparation, it is certainly one that would be at home in any Italian kitchen…

The Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. Chicken pieces
  • 2-3 tbsp. Olive oil.
  • Juice of one half Lemon
  • 1 tbsp. of salt
  • Lemon zest strips
  • 1 tsp. Black Peppercorns
  • 1 Scallion (green part only)
  • 1 sprig Rosemary
  • 2 large Garlic cloves

You will need about one or two teaspoons of lemon zest once it is minced and you can cut it from the half lemon. Just make sure you remove only the outer yellow skin and not any of the bitter white pith underneath.

The Method

First cut slashes all over the chicken pieces. This is a step that my readers will often see me do with chicken as it allows more of the fat to drain away and allows any marinade or seasonings to penetrate the meat. Next, rub the pieces with the salt, then the lemon juice, and set the chicken aside.

Crush the peppercorns to a powder in a mortar and then finely mince the garlic, lemon zest, scallion and the rosemary needles. Put everything into a bowl with the olive and leave everything to rest for at least thirty minutes or so to allow the flavors to meld and permeate the oil.

Next, coat the pieces of chicken with the oil and seasoning mixture, rubbing it into the slashes and getting as much as possible under the skin. Set aside to marinate for several hours or overnight in the fridge.

When you are ready to cook, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees and put the chicken pieces on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Pop them into the oven and cook, turning once or twice, for about an hour. When the chicken is nice and golden and the meat cooked through, remove the pieces from the oven and let them rest for 5 minutes or so before serving.

The Verdict

Well… darn it! I wrote this post many weeks ago and I discovered, when I went to do my final editing, that I forgot to record my ‘verdict’. The best I can tell you now is that I don’t recall any horrible after effects so I trust it turned out pretty decently. I hope at least one of my readers will try the and let me know whether I should have enjoyed it…


I am a lawyer by profession and my practice is Criminal... I mean, I specialize in Criminal law. My work involves travelling on Court circuits to remote Arctic communities. In between my travels I write a Food blog at

18 thoughts on “Lemon Rosemary Chicken

  1. This is a great dish…very similar to what I made tonight…my kids favorite roast chicken….olive oil, lemon and zest, rosemary and oregano, garlic and onion, pepper and Murray river pink salt.
    Thanks as always for sharing such great posts

  2. Interesting, I’ve been looking for a good recipe for some kind of “lemon chicken” (why that, specifically is a long story…). Think I will try this out some day, and I’ll be sure to let you know my verdict !

  3. I will tell you that you should have enjoyed this! It is very similar to one I do and it is very very good! You should come and visit me this week – I have pics from a local produce stand I think you would like. I know the prices will probably make you scream. But it costs a lot less to transport from a field to the stand than to fly it way up north!

  4. The slashing the chicken is a great idea! I’ve never heard that suggestion before. I think this is a recipe I could easily enjoy weekly. I have a version of the same, but it isn’t nearly as flavorfully prepared. I don’t usually add the garlic, and I can’t think of any reason NOT to have garlic–the more the better! 🙂 Debra

    1. Spring Onion and Scallions are the same thing. I think in some places they *do* call them shallots too, but here a shallot is something else entirely. I should probably just call them ‘green onions’ to avoid confusion 🙂

  5. We tried this and enjoyed it very much! Never thought to makes slashes in the chicken which is a great idea. Now my husband wants to know which one of your recipes I’m going to make next!

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