"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken

This is one of the first meat recipes I ever tried. Sally and I tried it sophomore year of college. It turned out so well that I've been making it ever since! It's really easy and turns out beautifully. It's good for when you're having company over - though it only feeds about four people. The whole house will smell amazing!

Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken
1 (5-6lb) whole roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch of thyme
1 bunch of rosemary
4 lemons
3 heads of garlic
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 lb sliced bacon
1 cup of white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove anything from inside the chicken and discard. Wash the chicken in the sink, making sure to get off any feathers. Pat dry. Place it in a large roasting pan. Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the thyme and rosemary (save some to garnish the outside). Cut the lemons and heads of garlic in half. Stuff two lemon halves and two garlic halves inside the chicken. Brush the outside of the chicken with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I usually sprinkle some of the thyme and garlic on the outside as well. Top the chicken with about 5 or 6 pieces of bacon. Place the remaining lemon halves and garlic halves in the roasting pan (I usually squeeze the lemons over the chicken first). Add the cup of wine and 1/2 cup chicken stock to the pan.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Then remove the bacon and place it to the side. Cook the chicken for an additional 30-45 minutes depending on the chicken size and oven.

It will be beautiful when it comes out of the oven. The bacon can be served as a side (or eaten as a snack while you wait for the chicken to finish cooking!) Though this recipe may seem difficult, it is actually pretty easy. You can substitute any of the herbs for different flavors. This recipe is based off of one of Ina Garten's recipes - but she makes a gravy instead of cooking the chicken in the juices. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lemon-and-garlic-roast-chicken-recipe/index.html

Suggested side dish:
This is really great with couscous. Instead of cooking the couscous (just buy a pack at the store in the rice aisle) in water, use chicken stock and white wine. This will go well with the same flavors in the chicken.

If Kent and I eat it by ourselves, we keep the leftovers to put in a different dish later in the week. It makes great chicken salad.

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