Suisse-Romande Roast Chicken

Despite the cold weather in the United States, we’ve had a relatively mild winter thus far in our small corner of Switzerland. My 6-year old’s ski lesson was cancelled one day over Christmas vacation due to heavy rain and not enough good snow. Having grown up in Minnesota, I always enjoy a cold and snowy winter. This year’s Swiss winter hasn’t met my expectations yet.


We can find snow up in the mountains, but it hasn’t arrived down by the lake where we live.

Even without the wintry weather, we’ve had many cloudy and foggy days without much sunlight. This weather calls for roast chicken, and I’ve found a recipe that’s become almost a weekly meal in our household: Poulet au citron de Suisse romande (loosely translated, Swiss-Romandy Lemon Chicken). We’ve made this at least a half dozen times now—when I manage to have all the ingredients, and I don’t forget about the 2-hour marinating time! Roast chicken is such a warm and comforting meal for our Sunday night dinner, and it’s great for Monday leftovers.


Poulet au Citron de Suisse-Romande

chasselasAdapted from Les recettes de Grand-Mère, Tome 5. Published in 2011 by the Association Alzheimer Suisse, Yverdon-les-Bains.


1 whole chicken
juice of 2 lemons
6-7 shallots
3 tablespoons dairy-free margarine, softened
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon herbes de provence
2 lemons
100 ml white wine
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Place the raw chicken in a large, oven-safe pot or roasting pan. Rub the chicken with lemon juice and place in the refrigerator to marinate for about 2 hours.

2. Set-aside 2 shallots in a small bowl. Cut the rest in half and arrange in the pot around the chicken.

3. Mix together the dairy-free margarine, mustard and herbs. Take out 1 tablespoon of the mixture and mix together with the remaining shallots. Stuff the shallots and half a lemon into the chicken. You can truss the chicken with some kitchen string, if you want to.

4. Spread the remaining margarine mixture evenly on the outside of the chicken. I threw half a lemon into the pot before baking too, but it’s not necessary.


5. Place chicken in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F for 1 1/4 hours. Then, drizzle with wine, add lemon slices and let simmer briefly in the oven for another 10-15 minutes.


6. Using a meat thermometer, check to make sure the chicken has reached the recommended temperature of 75°C/165°F. Take the chicken out of the oven and allow to sit for another 10-15 minutes. Remove the lemon and shallots and place them around the chicken on a serving platter. Then, reduce the sauce over medium-high heat until slightly thickened.


On Monday night, I made Sher-Ping Pancakes with some of the leftover chicken, this time using basil instead of cilantro. What do you make with your leftover roast chicken?

Updated: I (finally) removed the directions about rinsing the raw chicken in cold water. Recent guidance indicates this step isn’t necessary and can actually increase the risk of foodbourne illness. November 2, 2014.


3 thoughts on “Suisse-Romande Roast Chicken

  1. Katy says:

    Made this tonight. Easy and smelled wonderful. But I would rub the butter mixture under the skin next time to give more flavor to the meat.

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