Victorian Lemon Chicken (download printable PDF)


1 chicken

1 medium onion

1 egg

salt to taste

black pepper to taste

1 bunch lemon thyme

1 cup bread crumbs
1 lemon rind
Béchamel sauce (see recipe below)


knife and cutting board
roasting pan with rack

mixing bowl
trussing needles

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grate the lemon rind. Dice the onion. In the mixing bowl mix together the onion, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, lemon thyme, and the egg. Rinse out the inside of the chicken and stuff it 3/4 full with the mixture. Truss the chicken with the trussing needles and the string. Salt the outside of the bird and place on the rack in the roasting pan. Make the Béchamel sauce, following the recipe below. Add the grated lemon rind to the sauce. Place the bird in the oven and cook 20 minutes per pound. When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven and place it on the cutting board. Remove the skin to make cutting it easier. Cut the chicken into pieces and place it on the serving plate. Pour the sauce over it. This dish is equally good hot or cold.

For the Béchamel sauce


2 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 Tbs. butter
3/4 cup flour
1/2 medium-sized onion
1 bay leaf
white pepper


knife and cutting board
measuring cup
2 cookpots

This dish is seasoned to taste. Peel and finely slice the onion. The dish can be prepared up to this point in advance. In a cookpot on the stove over low heat gently simmer the sliced onion and bay leaf in the milk 10 minutes. Remove the cookpot from the heat and strain the milk into a bowl. Melt the butter in another cookpot on the stove over low heat and add the flour. Mix with a whisk to form a roux. Slowly add the milk and continue to whisk until the mixture is a smooth sauce. Increase the heat to medium and boil 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Béchamel sauce can be made in advance of the dinner and stored in the refrigerator covered in plastic wrap.