Friday, August 12, 2011

my momma's chicken

Lemon and chicken get along famously.  They're great together in all sorts of ways, but I have never tasted a lemon chicken that is delectable and fragrant as my mother's.  Oh. My. Goodness.  It's fantastic (and so easy!).  And it makes you feel like a Julia Child-esque rockstar when you pull that golden perfect bird out of the oven.  My mom uses Ina Garten's recipe.  I'll walk ya through it, folks.  

Lemon Chicken with Croutons

  • 1 (4 to 5-pound) roasting chicken
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 cups (3/4-inch) bread cubes (I used leftover french bread)
Serves 4-6.

  • (Go ahead and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F/218 degrees C.)

Slice the onion into large rings.  Layer them on the bottom of a large roasting pan with about 1T olive oil.

Quarter those vibrant lemons.

Take the giblets (no giblets for me, please) out of your chicken and wash and dry it (with paper towels - don't get icky raw chicken on your kitchen towels) and place on top of the onions in the roasting pan and brush with 2 T of melted butter.  Stuff the lemon halves inside the chicken.

Season generously with salt..

...and freshly cracked pepper and then tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wing tips under the bird.  (This helps him roast evenly without burning.)  Roast in the oven for about an hour and a half, until the juices of the chicken run clear.  

When the chicken in almost done, heat 2 T of olive oil in a large skillet and add the bread cubes and a bit of salt and pepper.  

Cook, turning frequently, until golden and crispy, about ten minutes.

Does that take your breath away, or what?  Perfection.
Take that glorious chicken out of the oven, cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes.  Then, cut the chicken up and layer with the onions and cooking juices on top the croutons.  It will have an amazing, delicate lemon flavor and the croutons will soak up the chicken juices.  You'll never think chicken's boring again!

Bon appetit!

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