Perfect Roasted Chicken with Preserved Lemon Sauce

So ya know I preserved those lemons with no clue how I was going to use them.  My husband actually hates lemon is his food which makes using them up even more of a challenge.  I just could not see them to go to waste.

preserved lemons

Well even preserved lemons have a shelf life.  As much as I hate when my husband travels, the timing is right this trip because I can finally use the preserved lemons. I had some bone-in split chicken breasts in the freezer — the flavor and juiciness of bone-in chicken far out weigh the convenience of boneless skinless chicken.

I seasoned the chicken with za’atar, my go to chicken seasoning these days. I had not heard of this seasoning until a good friend gave me some as a gift.  Now I can’t get enough of it!  It is a mixture of thyme, sesame seeds, summac, olive oil and sea salt.

za'atar (thyme)

Za’atar and pepper on the chicken, the preserved lemons are salty so no additional seasoning is needed. You could first dredge it in flour if you prefer.

chicken za'atar

I browned the breasts in a mixture of oil and butter and then finished them in the oven.  Browning in the oil and butter combo, and then roasting in a hot oven uncovered makes for the perfect roasted chicken! Once out of the oven I set them aside and made a sauce in the same pan I roasted the chicken in.

Perfect Roasted chicken

Topped the chicken with the sauce and served it simply with lightly dressed arugula.  Though on the second go-round I served it with a creamy polenta, which was perfect to absorb the sauce. A bit of chicken, bite of arugula dredged through the sauce topped polenta was the best of it all in one bite.

chicken with preserved lemon

The sauce was outrageously delicious, not enough of it pictured above! Rich from the chicken stock, tangy from the lemons, and salty from the preserve juices.  This recipe is all about the sauce.  All about the sauce! I served extra on the side and added plenty as I eating.

Perfect Roasted Chicken with Preserved Lemon Sauce
Author: Jacky Hackett
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3-4
  • 3 chicken breast, bone-in and skin on
  • 3 T. Za’atar (or favorite poultry seasoning)
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 preserved lemon
  • 3 T. juices from preserved lemons
  • 1 T. butter (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Rinse chicken and pat dry, coat with seasoning.
  3. Heat oil and butter in a dutch oven over medium heat.
  4. Brown chicken breasts on all sides.
  5. Place uncovered Dutch oven in heated oven. Cook chicken for 15 minutes and flip. Cook another 15 minutes.
  6. Remove chicken from oven, set breasts on a plate and return the Dutch oven to the stove top over medium heat.
  7. Stir garlic into the Dutch oven and heat about 30 seconds, pour in stock, lemons, and lemon juice. Stir and scrap up crisp bits on the pan.
  8. Bring sauce to boil, reduce heat and cook until reduce by half.
  9. Optional, stir in 1 T. butter.
  10. Add chicken breasts into the pan, coat with sauce and serve.


One of my best creations in the kitchen in a long time.


  1. Biz says:

    I have never tried that spice before, looks delicious! I love lemon too. I love bone in chicken, so much more flavor!

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