Roasted Lemon Chicken
After yesterday’s vegetarian affair, I thought it would be good to reaffirm my love of meat. So I decided to roast an entire chicken. With potatoes, carrots, and lemon.
There is something incredibly rewarding about roasting an entire chicken. If done correctly, it produces a perfect chicken (in my eyes) with crispy, spiced skin and juicy, tender meat. If done incorrectly, it can be sort of blah.
I used a recipe from Tyler Florence’s “Dinner At My Place” to make this:
Lemon Chicken and Veggies
Yield: Serves 4.
4 pound roasting chicken
1 garlic head, halved across the cloves
4 bay leaves
8 sprigs of parsley and/or thyme
2 pounds fingerling or new potatoes
1/2 pound baby carrots
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme (if you have it)
Salt and pepper
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Chop up stuffing ingredients into halves or quarters.
2) Season the chicken cavity with some salt and pepper. Don't be gentle. Once all of the stuffing is, well, stuffed, be sure to close up the cavity. Just fold those flaps of skin across each other.
3) Chop veggies and toss with Olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, the lemons themselves, and some fresh rosemary. You can go pretty heavy on the spices.
4) Pour your veggies in a large 9 by 13 pan. A roasting pan would be even better. Then put your chicken right in the middle, on top of the veggies.
5) Roast for 45 minutes and give your veggies a stir to make sure they cook evenly.
6) Roast for another 45 minutes or until the chicken has a temperature of 175. If you don't have a thermometer you can check to see if the juices in the thigh area "run clear." If so, then it is cooked. 90 minutes should really do the trick for a normal 4-5 pound roasting chicken. Ovens vary though, so always check.
7) Rest chicken for at least 10 minutes.
Slice and serve chicken with the roasted veggies.
Recipe adapted from Dinner at My Place.
A few notes on this: First, Tyler does his rotisserie style which I’m sure is even more delicious. I don’t happen to have a rotisserie though, so roasting was the best I could do. The great thing about rotisserie is you get crispy skin all around and the chicken bastes in all of the juices from the lemon. Roasting doesn’t do that quite as well, but it is still very tasty.
Second, Tyler ties his up with butcher’s twine. This is a very good idea if you have some around as it will keep those legs moist. I didn’t have any so I skipped this step and it turned out great anyway.
The first thing you need to do is preheat your oven to 350. Good work. Now chop up your stuffing ingredients. By chop up I mean cut into halves or quarters. See – cooking is easy.
Then the not so delicate part of stuffing the chicken. First, season the cavity with some salt and pepper. Don’t be gentle. Once all of the stuffing is, well, stuffed, be sure to close up the cavity. Just fold those flaps of skin across each other. Get it as sealed as you can. Some people like sew it up with twine and go crazy, but I don’t have time for all of that business. Just don’t leave it wide open or all of your lovely stuffing juices will go to waste.
Your oven won’t be heated up yet, so let’s get our veggies ready. I tossed all of my veggies with Olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, the lemons themselves, and some fresh rosemary. You can go pretty heavy on the spices as you can see below.
Put your veggies in a large 9 by 13 pan. A roasting pan would be even better. Then put your chicken right in the middle, on top of the veggies.
After 45 minutes in the oven, give your veggies a stir to make sure they cook evenly.
Cook the guy for 90 minutes, or until the chicken has a temperature of 180. If you don’t have a thermometer you can check to see if the juices in the thigh area “run clear.” If so, then it is cooked. 90 minutes should really do the trick for a normal 5 pound roasting chicken. Ovens vary though, so always check.
After it is done, be sure to let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Reason one: it will need to cool. Reason two: this will give time to let all of the juices redistribute.
This was a surprisingly easy recipe. The best ones always are in my opinion. At the same time it is incredibly soul-warming to eat a plate of freshly roasted chicken and potatoes.
After you eat all of your roasted chicken, you will notice that you still have a sizable carcass remaining. Don’t throw it away, Dude. You can use it to make chicken stock! (Elise’s recipe is good for leftovers.)