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Roasted Lemon Chicken Provençal

A delicious oven roasted chicken that's simple to make and fancy enough for company. The secret to this recipe is the Herbs de Provence lemon rub and allowing the flavors to marry at least overnight and up to 2 days.

Course chicken, Main Course
Cuisine American, French
Prep Time 1 day 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author The Tiny Fairy


  • 1 3-4 lb whole chicken
  • 1 Tablespoon Herbs de Provence, crushed
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt (prefer Diamond brand)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • olive oil to coat the chicken and a little extra for the roasting pan
  • 2-3 pats unsalted butter
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 6 shallots, cut in half
  • 1 head of garlic, peel the cloves, but keep them whole
  • ½ cup dry white wine or chicken stock
  • 6-8 Thyme springs
  • Maldon sea salt


  1. In a small bowl, crush the herbs with a pestle or the back of the spoon against the bowl. Add lemon zest, salt and pepper. Mix well.

  2. Spatchcock the chicken, trim the excess fatty parts, rinse and pat dry with paper towel. Coat the inside and outside of the chicken with olive oil and massage the herb mix all over the chicken. Place it in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator overnight or up to 2 days, no more than 3 days.

  3. When you're ready to cook the chicken, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to roasting. Preheat the oven to 425°F and place the oven rack in the center.

  4. Place the chicken in an oven safe wide skillet or roasting dish that has been lightly coated with olive oil. Add a few pats of butter on top of the chicken and place the cut lemons cut-side down in the skillet. Add the shallots, garlic cloves and white wine or chicken stock around the chicken.

  5. Roast until the thighs register 165°F on a meat thermometer, about 45-55 minutes, depending on your oven. No need to truss or baste the chicken. Simply let it roast in the oven.

  6. Loosely tent with foil when you remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes before carving and serving.

Recipe Notes

Note:  If you don't have a whole chicken, you can use chicken parts.   Depending on the parts (breasts are thicker than thighs) and the quantity, you will need to adjust the cooking time.  I would check after 20-30 minutes, then at 10 minute intervals.