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Roast Chicken Provencal Style with Local Lemons from Menton

There is nothing better than the tantalising aroma of roast chicken, well except for chocolate cake. As for savoury dishes, roast chicken is a winner for a family, it requires very little supervision, there are often leftovers for sandwiches and bones for soup or stock.  The credit for this recipe goes to Denise, my belle mere, she uses local, seasonal and when practical organic products for her creations.

Enjoy Denise’s Poulet Provençal au citron de Menton, it’s a simple roast chicken dish with local lemons.

Roast Chicken Provencal Poulet au Citron

Poulet Provençal au Citron de Menton

Roasting the chicken and vegetables in one pan makes for easy clean-up. The actual cooking time will vary depending on the size of your bird. Use a meat thermometer to check or slice near a leg to make sure the juices run clear.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 4 people


  • 1 whole Large Chicken poulet fermier
  • Coriander Powder *
  • Chili Powder
  • Paprika Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • handful Olives
  • some Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 onion cut in quarters
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper cut in pieces and seeds removed
  • 1 Aubergine (eggplant) cut in pieces
  • 1 Zucchini cut in pieces
  • 1 whole garlic head see cooking note
  • 1 lemon **
  • olive oil
  • 1 sprig Thyme
  • a few Potatoes


  • Put the chicken in a large oven dish, in the middle
  • Cut the lemon in half, spray some lemon juice over the chicken by squeezing one of the halves and rub the chicken all around with the lemon.
  • Cut the rest of that half of the lemon into small pieces and put that inside of the chicken cavity.
  • Rub salt on the chicken on both sides. Preferably sea salt. It will stick a bit to the chicken because of the lemon juice.
  • Rub some paprika and chili powder, on both sides of the chicken.
  • Pour a generous amount of olive oil over and inside the chicken.
  • Do not pre-heat the oven, place the chicken in a cold oven and set the temperature to 200 degrees Celsius (400F) for a half an hour. You should turn the chicken around after 15 minutes to brown the other side.
  • Once you have turned the chicken you can lower your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350F).
  • In the meanwhile, cook the potatoes for 15 minutes.
  • Do not peel the garlic cloves, in French this is called: ‘l’ail en chemise’ (garlic in its shirt). You can put as many garlic parts as you want in this dish, depending on how much you like garlic.
  • Prepare the vegetables: red bell pepper in cubes, the onion in quarters, chop the shallot, cut the other half of the lemon in pieces, the zucchini and the eggplant into cubes.
  • Once the potatoes are finished cooking you can cut into smaller pieces too.
  • The cherry tomatoes will go in in whole, just like the olives and the garlic cloves.
  • When the chicken has been in the oven for 30 minutes, you take it out and turn it around again and you then place the vegetables in your oven dish around the chicken.
  • Mix up the vegetables a bit to get a good mixture surrounding the chicken.
  • You then add some salt, pepper, coriander powder and a sprig of thyme. Put the thyme a bit inside the cavity so that the taste will mix with the rest.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, allow it to rest for a few minutes before carving.


*Denise uses whole coriander seeds that she crushes in a mortar and pestle.
** Lemon from Menton, in the south of France, which is famous for its lemons, but in any case, an organic one, which Denise says has more taste and less chemical substances on it.
For a chicken of 2 kg (4.4 lb), Denise puts it in the stove now for 1 hour, she checks regularly to see if it needs a bit of water but the vegetables will give off some their own juices so you might not need to add water.
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Laura’s family is multicultural. She is Dutch, and lives in Switzerland, with her French-Swiss husband and two (2) boys. The family travels for pleasure (and leisure) discovering new places, exploring different cultures and enjoying the people that they meet. Laura says, “I am curious, and I love the fact that travelling always triggers the curiosity of children.”

Let’s Explore the World with our Family is Laura’s blog about visiting new places and diverse scenery that sparks the seeds of curiosity and questions in both their children and themselves.

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