Grilled Chicken with Lemon

Poulet grillé au citron

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For



Appears in

Cuisine of the Sun

By Roger Vergé

Published 1979

  • About

Fairly inexpensive

Marination time: 4 hours


  • 1 white-fleshed chicken, of 1.4 kg (3 lb) plucked, cleaned and singed
  • 1 onion of 120 g ( oz), preferably a young one
  • 2 large handsome lemons
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt, pepper


Five hours in advance

Remove the feet, the neck and the wing tips of the chicken, and stand it on its back on a chopping-board. Split in half with a large heavy knife, cutting alongside the vertebral column. Remove the backbone completely by making a second cut parallel to the first. Make a small incision through the ball and socket joint where the drumsticks meet the thighs. Flatten each half of the chicken by smacking it with the flat of a cleaver – but don’t squash it!

Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and sprinkle all over with oregano. Peel the onion and cut into fine slices. Spread them over the bottom of an enamelled iron gratin dish and lay the chicken, skin-side up, on this bed of onions. Slice one of the lemons into very fine rounds and arrange them over the chicken. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cover the roasting tin with a sheet of aluminium foil and leave to marinate for 4 hours, not in the refrigerator.

Cooking the dish

Heat the grill to its highest setting. Preheat the oven to 250°C/ 500°F/Mark 10. Remove the chicken from the marinade (2) and put the slices of lemon on one side. Put the chicken in a roasting-tin and grill until it is a beautiful golden brown. Then turn the pieces over, sprinkle with a tablespoon of olive oil and brown the other side. When the chicken is nicely browned put it back on top of the onions in the gratin dish in which it marinated, skin side up. Replace the slices of lemon. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, roast in the oven for 25 minutes. After 15 minutes, sprinkle the chicken with the juice of the second lemon.

When the chicken is cooked, remove and cut each half in two. Return to the gratin dish, place on the onion bed and spoon the cooking juices over it. Serve very hot.

Recommended wines

  • Beaujolais Villages, Bourgueil or red wine from the Coteaux de Nice