The most creamy lemon sauce for chicken, turkey or any roast poultry and to accompany vegetables. Quick and easy savoury recipe - just chicken stock, cream, lemon, three egg yolks and a little butter to make it glossy.
Oven Roasted Chickens in France
When the Autumnal chill abruptly hits us around Paris, it usually means fumbling for gloves lost since last winter. I also can't be alone, with an awkward boot walk as my feet are in straight-jacketed shock with thick chaussettes or socks. Clothes shopping can wait. Instead, I gravitate towards the food. Magical sizzling chicken rôtisseries dotted along the street on the way to the market.
In France, it's a common sight at our markets and outside many butcher shops at any time of year. From a heatwave, when we can't face putting the oven on, to the colder weather.
Needless to say, the fragrance from the spitting rôtisserie is enough to make anyone want to huddle around it for the longest time for a warm. Only problem with that is it makes us hungry.
The fragrance of turning poulets rôtis dropping their juices over potatoes at the bottom of the roasting machines lingers all along the street.
On top of it, rôtisserie roasted chickens are healthy as they're not deep fried but oven roasted. No wonder roasted chicken is one of the most popular buys at the market!
Easy Savoury Lemon Chicken Sauce - it's French Fast Food
Indeed, as it's my kind of French Fast Food for the quickest, comforting dinner. The homemade part is this simple but divine creamy lemon sauce - made in just 25 minutes!
Mention chicken in Saint-Germain-en-Laye and at the market's central aisle, you'll find the poultry stall of Volaille de St Germain.
They're not difficult to find since they normally pull the crowds for their top quality produce: enormous duck filets, paupiette parcels, poultry stuffing (perfect for stuffed cabbage), and saucisses de volaille (poultry sausages.)
Express Lemon Sauce for Chicken
And the family's favourite part to go with the roasted chicken? This creamy, tart lemon sauce. I've always been surprised that my children would prefer this sauce over ketchup! Plus - dare I even say it - my French husband doesn't like cranberry sauce over the festive season. 'Why do you serve de la confiture avec le dinde?' he always asks. So this is my more savoury alternative.
It's extra quick to make as there's no need to sauté shallots in butter and add wine like you would do with a classic beurre blanc sauce or Béarnaise sauce. Instead it's just based on good quality chicken stock (I often buy mine frozen), adding in a whole lemon (zest and juice) and cream. Voilà!
As a baker, I also love that it uses up 3 egg yolks (see the egg yolk recipe collection) so with 3 egg whites I can make macarons (spot my fizzy Orangina ones in the photo? Recipe in Teatime in Paris).
What Can I make with the Leftover 3 Egg Whites?
As yolks need to be used straight away, this is a handy recipe if you want to make the following treats. These are my favourite egg white recipes that are quick to make:
How to Make Lemon Sauce
First heat the chicken stock in a saucepan and prepare all the other ingredients to have at the ready.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cream, lemon juice and zest.
Pour over the hot stock on to the liquid in the bowl, then transfer it back on to the medium heat in the saucepan.
Whisk in the butter and continue whisking for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens and becomes glossy.
How to Serve Lemon Sauce
This lemon sauce is best for roast chicken but also is ideal to accompany any leftover turkey over the holiday season. Serve with stuffed mini pumpkins as a side dish too.
Creamy Lemon Sauce for Chicken
- 125 ml (4 floz/½ cup) chicken stock
- 3 egg yolks organic
- 1 lemon, zest and juice organic (unwaxed)
- 100 ml (3.5 floz) half fat whipping cream (crème fleurette) 15% fat (less than ½ cup; 0.4)
- pepper a few grinds of the peppermill
- 25 g (1 oz) butter unsalted, roughly chopped
- Bring the chicken stock to the boil in a saucepan.
- Meanwhile, whisk the yolks with the lemon juice, zest and cream in a bowl. To temper the egg yolks, pour over the hot stock then transfer the liquid back into the pan over a medium heat.
- Add the butter and whisk constantly over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens and bubbles. Whisk for a further 5 minutes or until the sauce is thicker and glossy. Season to taste.
This post was originally published 15 November 2012 but has been re-written with fresh images and now has a printable recipe card.