About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Squid with Porcini Mushroom Stuffing | Main | Oven-Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Rosemary »

Roast Chicken with Lemon

Very easy preparation; very satisfactory result. A chicken, two lemons some salt & pepper and a hot oven. I mentioned this recipe to a friend. It has been a family favourite for many years, but she had never heard of Marcella. Perhaps this recipe, or quite similar ones, are quite well known. There was only one variation between my friend's preparation and Marcella's instructions. So it goes. (The last sentence is a literary reference. Anybody recognize it?)


An early direction has the bird breast-down in the pan. Then the chicken is turned over with the the encouragement to try not to puncture the skin. Unfortunately I was not able to accomplish this skill, so I didn't get to see the chicken swell up like a balloon. Too bad, but it didn't effect which was very good.

Another miscue on my part relates to the size of the lemons. They were too big for the cavity of the chicken. Next time I'll use smaller lemons.

Not much to add. Hey, you stick a couple of lemons inside a chicken and put it in the over. Pretty simple and very good result.

What I liked about this recipe:

What's not to like? A very simple and rewarding way to prepare a chicken.

What I didn't like about this recipe:

Nothing. I'll work on my bird-turning technique - gotta see the "balloon" effect.

Would I make it again?


Comments (7)

You're quoting Vonnegut now? Is there no end to your talents?

Another example of how a few simple ingredients can lead to wonderful results!


What, no squid in the chicken cavity? ;-)

I agree with your statement, "what's not to like". Your chicken looks delicious.


Doug, we did this one year with our thanksgiving turkey. More lemons of course. It was so wonderful.

Marcella Hazan:

Doug, I am not surprised that your friend was making my chicken without knowing whose recipe it originally was. Not too long ago I caught one of those TV cooks saying on the air that she had just returned from Paris where she had learned how to make my very same chicken. Lifting recipes and recycling them as one's one is very common among cookbook writers. I have seen my recipes surface in other contexts, unattributed of course, more often than I could say. Since there is nothing I can do about it, I have no alternative but to accept it as flattery. Unremunerated, alas.

Incidentally, I don't know what size bird you are using. When I originally published the recipe, some decades ago, you could find 2 1/2 pound chickens in the market. Today 3 1/2 pounds is considered small. Bigger chickens obviously take longer to cook.

I love this recipe. Isn't the flavor of this dish amazing while using so few ingredients? It looks great Doug!

Martha :

After reading and hearing so much about this recipe and its glorious results I'm going to try it today for lunch. I've got a chicken a little over a kilo and the lemons. I've been a Marcella fan for years and I can't believe I've never tried this recipe. Hope I get the "puffy" chicken results.
Buon Anno, Marcella and Victor!

Martha :

This was glorious! My chicken was just over a kilo so I only used one lemon. Used toothpicks to close it up and lightly tied the legs.
I cooked 20 minutes a pound @350 and another 20 min. @ 400 and it wasn't dry at all. Although I didn't get the puffy effect MH wrote about it was beautiful and I was really impressed with how the punctured lemon flavored the whole chicken.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 22, 2010 6:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Squid with Porcini Mushroom Stuffing.

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