Lemon Curd and Black Pepper Roasted Chicken

Lemon Curd and Black Pepper Roasted Chicken
Staff Writer
Lemon Curd and Black Pepper Roasted Chicken

John Lee

Lemon Curd and Black Pepper Roasted Chicken

A perfectly roasted chicken is what many cooks dream of as quite possibly their last meal, and many more before then. It's Sunday dinner pared down to its bare essentials; just juicy, tender meat and crisp, crackling skin carved away by fork and knife.

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For the brine

Put the black peppercorns, Sichuan peppercorns, if using, and coriander seeds into a saucepan and toast over medium-low heat, swirling the pan, until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add 2 cups of the water and the salt, increase the heat to medium-high, and stir until the salt is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the remaining water and the chile. Let cool to room temperature.

Rinse the chicken well under cold water. Transfer to a tall narrow plastic container just large enough to hold it. Pour the brine over the chicken and adjust the bird if necessary so it is completely immersed. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours, or preferably overnight.

For the lemon curd

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized saucepan, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and lemon zest and juice until combined. Put the pan over low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture is very thick and hot, but just below a simmer, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter a little at a time until smooth. Using a rubber spatula, press the mixture through a fine-meshed strainer set over a small bowl to remove the zest. Cover and let stand until cool or refrigerate if not using right away.

Position a rack in a roasting pan. Remove the chicken from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Pat the chicken completely dry with paper towels and set it on the rack in the pan. Let the chicken come to room temperature, 20-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Coarsely crush the black peppercorns and coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle or on a cutting board with the bottom of a small pan. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the rosemary and sage. Add three-quarters of the spice mixture to the lemon curd, along with 1 tablespoon of the water, and stir to combine.

Pat the chicken again with paper towels to make sure it is completely dry. Gently loosen the skin by sliding your fingers between the breast and skin and working them down to the thighs and drumsticks. Spoon half the lemon curd under the breast skin and use your hands to spread the curd evenly under the loosened skin all the way to the legs.

With kitchen twine, tie the legs together tightly. Brush the remaining curd evenly over the surface of the chicken, coating the whole bird. Sprinkle the remaining spice mix evenly over the chicken. Return to the rack in the pan and pour the remaining water into the pan.

Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees and continue roasting until the chicken is golden brown and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced, 1 ½-1 ¾ hours. Add water ½ cup at a time to the pan if it starts to dry out. Let the chicken stand for 10-15 minutes before carving.


Calories per serving:

1,290 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Low Carb Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Pork Free, Alcohol Free

Daily value:



  • Fat 88g 135%
  • Carbs 23g 8%
  • Saturated 27g 137%
  • Fiber 2g 10%
  • Trans 1g
  • Sugars 18g
  • Monounsaturated 36g
  • Polyunsaturated 18g
  • Protein 99g 197%
  • Cholesterol 582mg 194%
  • Sodium 6,118mg 255%
  • Calcium 137mg 14%
  • Magnesium 123mg 31%
  • Potassium 1,097mg 31%
  • Iron 6mg 33%
  • Zinc 7mg 49%
  • Phosphorus 835mg 119%
  • Vitamin A 325µg 36%
  • Vitamin C 25mg 42%
  • Thiamin (B1) 0mg 24%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 1mg 43%
  • Niacin (B3) 35mg 174%
  • Vitamin B6 2mg 94%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 61µg 15%
  • Vitamin B12 2µg 32%
  • Vitamin D 2µg 1%
  • Vitamin E 2mg 11%
  • Vitamin K 17µg 21%
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