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Meyer Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

Succulent roast chicken infused with lemon and thyme.

Moist and Tender Roast Chicken

Making an impressive and juicy roast chicken is a basic but easy skill. Rotisserie chickens purchased at local markets are easy to buy but it really isn’t hard to bake one (or two) at home. When your family or guests come through the door, the whole house is permeated with the savory aroma. Roast twin chickens for other quick fix meals later in the week. The carrot rack converts into a side dish infused with the chicken flavor. This is a perfect menu for Sunday dinner.

Recipe: Meyer Lemon Roast Chicken

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 90 Minutes | Yield: 6 servings | Level: Easy


  • 1 5 lb roasting chicken, washed
  • 8 large fresh carrots
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Meyer Lemon, cut in 8 chunks
  • 1 medium onion, cut in 8 chunks & no peeling necessary
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Special Equipment – Large Roasting Pan
1 Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2 In a roasting pan, line up the peeled or unpeeled carrots in the bottom creating an edible rack for the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3 Salt and pepper the bottom of the chicken and lay it on the carrot rack.

4 Put the lemon and onion chunks in a medium bowl and add in a few sprigs of thyme, olive oil plus some salt and pepper. Roll around until everything is coated with the oil and seasoning, then load into the chicken cavity.

5 Using the olive oil left in the bowl, brush or rub it over the top and sides of the chicken. Lay a couple of sprigs of thyme on the top and salt and pepper over all. Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the roaster and put a lid on or cover tightly with foil.

6 Roast for 15-20 minutes then reduce heat to 350 for 60-75 minutes until the inside temp measures 180 degrees or the leg moves easily.

7 Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before carving. Use pan drippings to make a gravy or glaze.

Meyer, a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, is a little sweeter and a more delicate citrus than a regular lemon.

Twin Chickens – i have a roaster large enough to handle 2 chickens. When I roast, I do 2 at the same time because it doesn’t really take any longer to roast 2 chickens. If you have a crowd coming for dinner, you’ll need 2. If not, once the extra chicken is cool, debone and use for other recipes later in the week or freeze to use on a salad or in other chicken recipes. When you defrost the chicken it is very juicy to the point that you won’t believe it had been frozen.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange thyme for fresh rosemary.
  • Exchange Meyer Lemon for regular lemon.
  • Create rack with carrots and celery stalks.

Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written: by
Photographs: by Helen Horton
Updated: March 18, 2012

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7 Responses to Meyer Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

  1. Audrey January 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    I love this recipe. So simple yet amazingly delicious and the meat is very succulent.

  2. Lindsay March 29, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    I will have to tell my mom about this one. She makes A LOT of roast chicken.

  3. Cooking Man April 16, 2012 at 2:37 am #

    i want to plant a lemon tree but they grow to big, is a meyer lemon tree smaller? does it taste any different? where can i find myer lemon seeds and how much do they cost??

    • helenhorton April 16, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

      Meyer lemons grow on smaller trees than common lemons. They can even be grown in your kitchen as a house plant and pruned to keep them contained. The fruit is sweeter than traditional lemons. They make terrific lemonade and are slightly more orange in color. This recipe works great with traditional as well as meyer lemons.

      • Lindsay April 19, 2012 at 11:59 am #

        A Meyer Lemon tree is what my parents have, but it is more like a bush. Quite low to the ground, no big trunk, but still produces A LOT of lemons.

        • helenhorton April 19, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

          Your mom is the one who introduced me to Meyer Lemons. She sold me when she was so committed that she was growing one in her yard. Sweet!!

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