Roasted Lemon Chicken à la Niçoise

Roasted Lemon Chicken à la Niçoise

Niçois is a classic French preparation that usually incorporates olives. The term means “prepared Nice style”, coming from Nice, France. Roasting chicken this way tenderized the meat and infuses it with the fruity richness of olives. Leftovers are delicious when tossed in a salad for a quick lunch or casual dinner.


Serves 6


1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Niçoise or small green olives, pitted, chopped
2 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 lemons cut into wedge, divided
1 rosemary sprig
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
cooking spray
1/2 cup dry white wine or water


Preheat the oven to 400° F. Rinse chicken well under cold, running water and pat dry with paper towels. Season the inside of the cavity with 1 tablespoon of salt and fill with 4 to 5 lemon wedges, and the rosemary sprig.

In a small bowl mix ricotta, olives, parsley, and garlic. Loosen the skin surrounding the breast meat with your fingers. Press the filling between the skin and the meat, smoothing the skin into place until all the filling is evenly distributed.

Truss or tie the chicken legs shut with a piece of cotton kitchen twine. Coat the chicken with a layer of the cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over high heat. When the skillet is hot add the chicken, breast side down and cook 2 to 3 minutes until a golden crust forms. Turn and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the skillet into the oven and roast the chicken uncovered for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, adding 1/4 of the wine to the skillet so the drippings do not burn. The chicken is cooked when the meat reaches an internal temp of 165° F or until the meat surrounding the thigh joint is no longer pink.

Allow the chicken to rest 5 minutes before carving to give the juices time to redistribute. Carve and remove the skin. Scrap and of the stuffing clinging to the skin and transfer to a platter. Discard the skin and slice the meat, and serve with remaining lemon wedges.

Nutritional Stats Per Serving (8 ounces)

300 calories, 50 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat (2 g saturated), 151 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 533 mg sodium.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Skip to toolbar