Thursday, February 10, 2011
There is something fundamentally unsexy about raw chicken--it's cold and pink and flabby. But thankfully, it's not hard to make something so unappealing absolutely delicious...especially when you've got lemons hanging around. A simple dish, fragrant with garlic, rosemary and yes, lemon, I was able to throw it together in the morning so the chicken could soak in all the lovely flavors before being roasted.
I put it in the oven before I left to take the kids to the ranch for their riding lessons, set the delay start button and headed out the door. (As an aside, the chicken sat at room temperature--in the cold oven for just under an hour. While I don't recommend that practice, desperate times call for desperate measures. I'm happy to report that we are all fine the day after...) When we returned from the ranch, not only was dinner done, but the home was filled with the scrumptious aroma of garlic and rosemary and roast chicken--which is right up there on my list of top 10 smells.....just behind horse. So yesterday, I got the best of both worlds.
Slap your chicken skin side up in a baking dish. This is a whole chicken cut into 8 pieces. Cutting up your own chicken is a great way to save a few bucks and takes only a few minutes.
Cut enough lemon slices to place on each piece. So, in this case, eight.
Smash garlic cloves with the side of a heavy knife. Then they are really easy to slip out of their skins. Use one garlic clove for each piece of chicken, and toss them on top.
Now add herbs. I always have fresh rosemary growing in my garden, so that's what I used. But this would also be work well with thyme.
I had a lemon on my counter that had been zested earlier in the week, so I squeezed the juice over the chicken for extra flavor.
Finally, drizzle the whole thing with plenty of extra virgin olive oil. Probably a few tablespoons or so. And sprinkle everything with a good pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
See, looks better already!
Cover it up and let it sit in the fridge all day, or even overnight.
Bake it at 425 degrees for about one hour. The garlic becomes tender, the lemons caramelize, and the chicken is juicy and wonderfully flavorful. Easy peasy.
This is your last chance to WIN the giveaway. Simply leave a comment here, telling me what YOU do with lemons by FIVE o'clock Friday. At that very happy hour, I will not only be mixing martinis, but I will be hitting the button to randomly select the winner of a nice bottle of FRESH Sugar Lemon Bath and Shower Gel. Wahoo!
Roast Chicken with Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary
Your home will be filled with the amazing aroma of garlic and rosemary when you make this dish. And because the chicken has been marinating all day, it is incredibly tender, juicy and flavorful.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, plus marinating time
Yield: serves 8
1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
8 slices of lemon
8 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon of chopped rosemary
Juice from one lemon
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Place chicken in a baking dish, skin side up. Place one slice of lemon and one clove of garlic on the top of each piece. Sprinkle with rosemary and salt and pepper. Drizzle everything with the lemon juice and olive oil.
2. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake for 50 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. (180 degrees in the thigh meat, and 165 in the breast.)