Easy Lemon Sauce (for Roast Chicken)


The most creamy lemon sauce to serve with roast chicken, turkey or to accompany vegetables. Quick and easy savoury recipe without butter – just chicken stock, cream, lemon and three egg yolks.

pot of lemon sauce, roasted chickens and pumpkins

French Rôtisserie Oven Roasted Chickens

This week the Autumnal chill has hit abruptly around Paris. Fumbling for gloves lost since last winter, I now have this awkward new boot walk as my feet are in straight-jacketed shock with thick chaussettes. Clothes shopping can wait. Instead, I gravitate towards the magical sizzling chicken rôtisseries dotted along the street on the way to the market. In France, it’s a common sight at the market and outside many butcher shops.

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!

french market chicken stand

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 St 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.)

roast chicken

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 – instead it’s just based on good quality chicken stock (I 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).
It’s also a lovely sauce to accompany any leftover turkey over the holiday season, and served with stuffed mini pumpkins as a side dish.

lemon sauce for chicken and stuffed pumpkins

How to Make Lemon Chicken Sauce

pot of lemon sauce, roasted chickens and pumpkins
5 from 1 vote

Creamy Lemon Sauce

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course : Side Dish
Cuisine : French
Keyword : lemon sauce, sauce for roast chicken
Servings : 6 people
Calories : 122kcal


Quick and easy savoury lemon sauce to serve with roast chicken, turkey or to accompany vegetables.


  • 200 ml (7 floz) Chicken stock
  • 3 Egg yolks organic
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice organic (unwaxed)
  • 100 ml (3.5 floz) whipping cream (crème fleurette) 30% fat


  • Bring the chicken stock to the boil in a saucepan.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the yolks with the lemon juice, zest and cream in a bowl then gradually whisk the mixture into the hot stock.
  • Keep whisking over a medium heat until the sauce thickens and bubbles.


I deliberately don't season the sauce with salt and pepper as the roast chicken is seasoned and I love the plain creamy lemon. However, feel free to season to your own taste.
Also delicious with stuffed mini pumpkins.
Good wine varietals that pair with lemon sauce: any 'creamy' chilled whites such as Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Marsanne, Roussane or Viognier are my personal favourites as they are buttery and fruity. So, a Côte du Rhône white to a Burgundy chardonnay to a Condrieu.

This post was originally published 15 November 2012 but has been re-written with fresh images and now has a printable recipe card.

From the market

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Comments (26)

5 stars
Love the recipe for creamy lemon sauce and it is so quick to make and accompany many dishes. Thank you for the easy to print recipe. Love to imagine the smell of the chickens roasting at the market.

What a lovely surprise to hear from you, Thomasina – thank you!

That lemon sauce looks incredible. Also I never thought to cook one of those little pumpkins. They are scattered all around my NYC apt. as decoration.

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