Meyer Lemon Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms and Artichokes

Meyer lemons smell like spring time and look like the sun. They give me warm fuzzies. A cross between a lemon and a tangerine, they’re a golden yellow and taste less sour than their yellow cousins. They’re often readily available during the late winter, a nice push to get us to spring. Even better, if you have preserved Meyer lemons, they will really make your dish pop. If using preserved lemons, just lightly salt your chicken and do not salt the vegetables as they cook, since the lemons will be saturated in salt.

Mushrooms and artichokes have an earthier quality, and, like onions, can melt down into themselves to form a savory gravy. The citrus and herbs brighten the earthiness. The mushrooms are a great source of B vitamins and the lemon, vitamin C. And this dish doesn’t just feed us – the artichokes are probiotics, meaning they feed our gut bugs, too. Everyone wins here.

After a long day of getting our garden planted, I made this chicken dish as a one-pot solution for a simple Shabbat dinner. The chicken was moist and tender, the flavors blended effortlessly, and the sauce from the artichokes, mushrooms, caramelized onions, herbs, garlic, and Meyer lemon juice was rich without being heavy.

It hit the spot and fit the bill.

Meyer Lemon Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms and Artichokes
Yield: Serves 6-8
Total Time: 90 minutes

1 roasting chicken, giblets removed
2 Tbsp butter, olive oil, or a combination
1 yellow onion
5 cloves garlic
1 Meyer or regular lemon
1 jar OR 6 oz frozen baby artichokes or artichoke hearts
4 oz crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
2 sprigs fresh oregano
2 sprigs fresh thyme
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Bring chicken to room temperature.
2. Over medium heat, heat fat in a Dutch oven. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. When warm, place the chicken breast-side down and allow to brown. Flip to the back and allow to continue browning.
2. Meanwhile, thinly slice the onion and reserve in a bowl. Peel and smash garlic cloves. Drain artichoke if jarred. If artichokes are whole, quarter them. Cut each mushroom into 4 slices. Set aside garlic, artichokes, and mushrooms in a bowl. Thinly slice lemon and remove seeds. Coarsely chop herbs. Set aside lemons and herbs in a separate bowl.
3. Remove chicken from pot and set aside on a plate. If needed, add an extra tablespoon of butter or olive oil; the pot should not look dry. Add onion to pot and decrease heat to low. Allow to cook slowly until translucent, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, mushrooms, and artichokes and sautée until mushrooms are slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
4. Replace chicken on top of the vegetables, breast side up. Scatter lemon slices and herbs around the chicken. Cover and roast until the internal temperature is 165ºF and juices run clear, at least 25 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then carve chicken and serve with vegetables and sauce.

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