Meyer Lemon Chicken & Asparagus

There are two dishes referenced in Kim Severson’s “Spoon Fed” that don’t have corresponding recipes: the first is a chicken stuffed with Meyer lemons, the other is something called a “Jewish muffin.” I haven’t had any luck parsing the mysteries of the Jewish muffin, but after an exchange on Twitter I was able to extract from Kim a Tweetcipe for the chicken: “Meyer lemons, cut in half, shoved inside a well-seasoned chicken along with some fresh parsley and maybe thyme.”

Easy enough, right?

Here are my ingredients, laid out pre-stuffing:


I preheated the oven to 500 (as per Thomas Keller’s recipe). I patted the chicken (appx. 4 lbs) very dry with paper towels and then I seasoned it all over (including the cavity) generously with salt and pepper. I stuffed two halved Meyer lemons inside along with some thyme and placed the chicken in a cast iron skillet:


I could’ve put some butter on the breast, as T.Keller suggets, but sometimes you don’t want to gild the lily. (And the Chez Panisse recipe for roast chicken has no additional fat and it’s one of our favorites, so I felt justified.)

I let it roast for 15 minutes and then lowered the heat to 425 and let it cook another 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, I prepped a bunch of asparagus (slicing off the tips, peeling away the thorny bits), placed them on a cookie sheet and tossed ’em with olive oil, salt and pepper and popped them into the oven during the last 10 – 12 minutes of the chicken’s roasting. I tossed it around a few times so the asparagus got brown on all sides.

So here’s the chicken when it came out of the oven:


Pretty sexy, right? I took a little nibble and it had the most delicate, lovely Meyer lemon flavor. It didn’t hit you over the head, but it was sweet and subtle and so good, I figured I should make a gravy with the pan drippings.

To do that, I just added a big spoonful of flour to the pan, turned up the heat and let that cook for 30 seconds to a minute until the roux had darkened:


I attempted to squeeze one of the roasted Meyer lemons from inside the chickens cavity on to the flour, thinking that’d be an interesting liquid to use, and nearly burned my hand. But not enough liquid came out so I added about 3/4 cup of water—stirring as it bubbled until the gravy thickened:


And that was the sauce for the chicken. As for the asparagus, I made a mayonnaise-based sauce by mixing some mayo, a little yogurt (I would’ve preferred sour cream but didn’t have it), Meyer lemon juice, a little mustard, salt and pepper:


And that’s how I created the dish you see at the top of this post—a pretty lovely plate, if I do say so myself, especially for spring. So thanks to Kim Severson for the recipe (via Twitter) and stay tuned for another Kim recipe (via Lindsey Shere & Marion Cunningham) that (shocker!) also features Meyer lemons; a Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie. I’m thinking of changing the name of my blog to Meyer Lemon.

Other Meyer Lemon Posts

What To Do with Meyer Lemons

Meyer Lemon Curd Bars Cockaigne

When Life Gives You Meyer Lemons

Let's dish!

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