Roast Chicken with Lemon Jus

August 21, 2011

While the overall techniques used in this recipe are sound. Brining the chicken kept the chicken moist, browning the chicken skin-side down to render the skin. The problem is that the jus lacks potency, and while there are hints of lemon, it tastes only slightly better than chicken broth.  Not worth the effort.

The mashed potatoes weren't as good as I had hoped with the jus.

This chicken was leftover from yesterday’s chicken casserole, so at least there were two dinners for the effort. I also baked this rustic dinner bread. However, the overall lack of potency in the jus made it just an average meal, 3-stars.


  1. I should have eaten the Chicken with Jus the first night and the casserole the second night; the main drawback was the need to reheat the chicken causing the skin to lose it’s crispness.

Rating: 3-stars.
Cost: $5.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium
Start time 5:00 PM. Dinnertime: 7:00 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. My descriptions of how I prepare it today are given below:

1/2 cup table salt
6 pieces of skin-on, split chicken breast.
Ground black pepper
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 medium shallot
4 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 fresh sprig fresh thyme
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon parsley leaves

  1. In a large container or bowl, mix 1/2 cup table salt in 2 quarts of cold water. Submerge the chicken breasts, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 60 minutes. Discard the brine, rinse the chicken, and pat dry with paper towels. Season both sides of the chicken with pepper (not more salt).
  2. Position an oven rack to the middle of your oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Line a 13″x9″ Pyrex baking dish with aluminum foil.
  3. Place a 12″ regular skillet over medium-high heat. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil until just smoking. Brown half of the chicken for five minutes, skin side down. Flip the chicken using tongs and brown the second side for 4 minutes. Meanwhile mince your shallot.
  4. Place the chicken skin-side up into your foil-lined baking dish. Brown both sides of the remaining with 2 more teaspoons vegitable oil.  Bake for 22 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165-degrees.
  5. While the chicken bakes, reduce the heat to medium and add the shallot to skillet and saute for 1 minute.
  6. Add the chicken broth, bay leaves, and thyme. Deglaze the pan and simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce has reduced to 3 cups; then set aside until step 8. Meanwhile chop the parsley.
  7. Once the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165-degrees, place it on a serving platter. Let it rest uncovered.
  8. Add any accumulated juices from the baking dish back to the jus. Strain the jus through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl or measuring cup. Discarding the solids and return 1-1/2 cups of the jus to the skillet. Bring back to a simmer, whisk in 2 tablespoons . Remove from heat and mix in lemon juice and parsley. Season with salt and pepper according to taste.
  9. Serve the chicken and pass the jus separately.

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