Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lemon-roasted chicken

Okay, enough serious stuff. I offered this recipe on Facebook and had several takers, so here it is. Hopefully, the style will be more interesting than that of the ordinary cookbook. If you are not cooking challenged, pleased excuse the unnecessary details. (Recipe modified from one published in Reader's Digest donkey's years ago.)

Get one (dead) chicken, 4-6 lbs., and 2 fresh lemons. Bring them home.

Put the chicken somewhere where it won't matter when all that gross blood runs out all over everything, and cut open the wrap. Take out all the icky stuff in the body cavity--the giblets-in-a-bag and the neck--and throw it away.

Grab one of the fresh lemons and stab it all over with a sharp knife. Put the lemon into the body cavity of the chicken.

Put the lemon-stuffed chicken into some sort of roasting pan big enough to hold it. (Oh, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.)

Cut the other lemon in half. Squeeze the juice of half of the lemon all over the chicken. (Tip: If the lemon half doesn't want to squeeze, make several small cuts in the edge of the skin around the rim of the lemon half.)

Shake dried basil and dried oregano generously all over the lemon-juiced chicken.

If you feel like being fancy, tuck the wing tips of the chicken under its back. But if you don't know how to do this and don't mind the fact that the wings will pretty much be dried up and inedible if you don't do it, don't bother.

Make sure your oven racks are far enough apart to fit the pan with the chicken in it.

Place the chicken in the pre-heated oven and bake for one and one-fourth to one and three-fourths hours, depending on the size of the chicken. While it cooks, clean up the mess from opening up the chicken, etc., with hot soapy water.

Test the chicken for doneness using an instant thermometer stuck into the thick meat of the chicken somewhere (like on the breast). It should read 180 degrees. Or saw off a leg right at the thigh and see if it looks completely cooked and white with clear juices, not pink at all.

Serving suggestion--Serve with Uncle Ben's long grain and wild rice.

Oh, cut up the other lemon half into slices for people to squeeze over their chicken meat and rice.



alaiyo said...

Sounds good! I shall try it out on a nice cool day!

Scott W. said...

I do a few extra tricks. Cookbooks talk about brining. I'm too lazy for that, so I just take kosher salt and rub down the whole chicken with it. Then I slather olive oil on it. This see,s to bring out and seals the moisture. Dunno how, but I've never had a dry chicken since doing it. Then I do all the lemon and herb stuff much like you describe.

I put it in the roaster breast-side down at 375 degrees for an hour. Then I flip it breast side up and blast it at 500 degrees for 30 minutes to get cripy skin.

Lydia McGrew said...

It sounds delicious. I think I'm probably too much of a coward to blast anything at 500 degrees, though. :-)

I once set my oven on fire making...cheesecake.