Pan-Roasted Chicken with Meyer Lemon and Chardonnay

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Meyer Lemon and Chardonnay
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About This Recipe

Hello, fellow Napa Valley foodies, home chefs, and wine enthusiasts! It's Lily here, and today I'm delighted to share my original recipe for Pan-Roasted Chicken with Meyer Lemon and Chardonnay. This dish is a celebration of Napa Valley's vibrant citrus, succulent poultry, and world-class wines.

My inspiration for this dish came from a visit to a charming Meyer lemon grove nestled in the Napa Valley hills. The grove's aromatic, floral scent and the sight of sun-kissed Meyer lemons hanging from the trees sparked the idea of a pan-roasted chicken dish bursting with bright citrus flavors. To create a truly Napa Valley-inspired dish, I incorporated a splash of local Chardonnay for a touch of elegance.

For side dishes, consider pairing the pan-roasted chicken with a crisp fennel and arugula salad tossed with a citrus vinaigrette, featuring freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice. The fresh, anise-like flavor of the fennel and peppery arugula complement the juicy chicken and Chardonnay sauce. Alternatively, serve a side of creamy polenta with a hint of Parmesan, offering a comforting, yet sophisticated accompaniment to the main course.

When it comes to dessert, a tangerine and olive oil cake is a delightful choice. The zesty tangerine and fragrant olive oil flavors meld seamlessly with the Meyer lemon and Chardonnay, while the cake's tender crumb provides a satisfying finish. For a lighter option, try a honeyed Greek yogurt panna cotta topped with a seasonal berry compote and a sprinkling of toasted almonds.

To truly embrace Napa Valley's farm-to-table spirit, source your ingredients from local farmers' markets, such as the Calistoga Farmers' Market or the Oxbow Public Market. By doing so, you'll be supporting local farmers and artisans while ensuring the freshest, most flavorful ingredients.

The Chardonnay in this dish not only enhances the flavors of the pan-roasted chicken but also makes for an ideal wine pairing. Visit hidden gem wineries like Trefethen Family Vineyards or Frog's Leap Winery for a crisp, well-rounded Chardonnay that will elevate your meal to new heights.

In conclusion, my Pan-Roasted Chicken with Meyer Lemon and Chardonnay is a true Napa Valley creation that captures the essence of the region's culinary and wine-making heritage. By pairing this dish with locally sourced ingredients and Napa Valley wines, you'll be treating yourself and your loved ones to an unforgettable dining experience.

Happy cooking, and cheers to your Napa Valley-inspired culinary adventures!

Hero Ingredient Spotlight: Meyer Lemon

Meyer lemons are a delightful cross between a regular lemon and a sweet mandarin orange. Originating from China, these lemons are renowned for their vibrant golden-yellow hue and slightly sweeter, less acidic taste compared to their traditional counterparts. Meyer lemons possess a unique floral aroma, making them a favorite for chefs and food enthusiasts alike. When using Meyer lemons, you're not only getting that classic citrus punch but also subtle undertones of honey and thyme, elevating any dish they touch.

How To Pan-Roast Chicken to Perfection

Pan-roasting is a brilliant technique combining searing and oven roasting. The process ensures crispy skin, tender meat, and rich flavors. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Preparation: Season your chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Sear: In a heated skillet with oil, sear the chicken skin-side down until golden brown. This locks in the juices and ensures a crispy finish.
  3. Roasting: Transfer the skillet to a preheated oven, allowing the chicken to cook evenly.
  4. Resting: Once out of the oven, let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps the juices redistribute.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I substitute Meyer lemons with regular lemons? Yes, though Meyer lemons are sweeter and less acidic. If using regular lemons, consider adding a touch of honey or agave to balance the flavors.
  2. How can I check if the chicken is fully cooked? Use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C) when inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
  3. How do I store leftover Pan-Roasted Chicken with Meyer Lemon and Chardonnay? Place leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven for best results.
  4. I'm allergic to wine; can I omit the Chardonnay? Certainly. Replace Chardonnay with additional chicken broth or apple juice for a non-alcoholic alternative.
  5. Which other herbs can I use in this recipe? While rosemary and thyme are recommended, sage and marjoram are great alternatives that complement the chicken and Meyer lemon flavors.

Tips for Success

  1. Use Fresh Ingredients: Source fresh Meyer lemons and quality Chardonnay. The flavors of these ingredients are integral to the dish.
  2. Don't Overcrowd the Pan: When searing the chicken, ensure there's ample space between the pieces. Overcrowding can reduce the pan's heat and prevent proper browning.
  3. Let the Sauce Reduce: After adding Chardonnay and chicken broth, let it simmer and reduce slightly. This concentrates the flavors, making for a richer, more delectable sauce.

Recipe Overview

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Meyer Lemon and Chardonnay
Lily Anderson
4 servings
Calories Per Serving:
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:

Ingredients List


  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), cut into 8 pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Chardonnay
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Meyer lemons, 1 thinly sliced and 1 juiced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Season the chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large oven-safe skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear the chicken pieces skin-side down for 5-6 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and crispy. Flip the chicken pieces and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate and set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the sliced onion to the skillet. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the onion is softened and starting to caramelize. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute.
  4. Pour in the Chardonnay, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it cook for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly reduced.
  5. Add the chicken broth, Meyer lemon juice, lemon slices, rosemary, and thyme to the skillet. Return the chicken pieces to the skillet, skin-side up, and spoon some of the liquid over the chicken.
  6. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
  7. Remove the skillet from the oven and place it on the stovetop over medium heat. Transfer the chicken pieces to a serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Add the butter to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce has slightly thickened.
  8. Spoon the Meyer lemon and Chardonnay sauce over the pan-roasted chicken and serve immediately. Pair with a glass of your favorite Napa Valley Chardonnay and enjoy the refreshing, citrusy flavors of this delightful dish!

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

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