The Main Event – Roast Chicken with Lemon and Herbs

This is the final post in my Valentine’s Day series.  I’ve only ever roasted a whole chicken one other time.  Mainly because I don’t have a good carving knife but also because a whole chicken is a lot of meat for one person! But with Rob to help consume I figured why not do it? It’s a special occasion right?  So here we go!

IMG_1632

1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus two whole lemons

1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Fresh herbs for garnish (4 rosemary springs, 4 sage sprigs, 8 thyme sprigs)

IMG_1634Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.  Remove the giblets from the chicken, wash it inside and out with cold water, then let it drain, cavity down, in a colander for 2 minutes.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.  Place it breast side down in a medium roasting pan fitted with a rack and pour the lemon juice all over the chicken, both inside and out.  Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper inside and out.

Prick 2 whole lemons three times each in three different places with a fork and place them deep inside the cavity.  Really stick the fork in.  I didn’t push it in far enough and there were barely any drippings for the sauce.  Chicken cavity sizes may vary, so  if one lemon is partly sticking out, that’s okay.

Put the chicken in the oven lower the temperature to 350 degrees, and roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven.  Using tongs or two wooden spoons, turn the chicken breast side up.  Insert a meat thermometer in the thigh, and return the chicken to the oven and roast for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the meat thermometer reads 180 degrees and the juices run clear when the thigh is pricked with a fork.  Continue roasting if necessary.  Keep in mind that cooking times in different ovens vary, roasting a chicken at 350 degrees take about 18-20 minutes per pound, plus an additional 15 minutes.

Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving.  Pour the juices from the roasting pan on top of the sliced chicken.  Garnish with fresh herbs.

IMG_1640I’ll be honest, this chicken was really good but I think it could have been better.  I don’t think I cooked it long enough.  While it was really tender and tasty, there was no juice from the lemons inside to pour over the chicken.  I’m planning on trying this again to see if I can get it to come out right.  I really love lemon sauce so I was disappointed that there wasn’t any.  The little bit of drippings that I did get were really good so I know it would be a stellar dish!  Ladies, be careful who you serve this dish to.  It should be someone you love!  If you want to know why, send me a message on the Facebook page and I’ll tell you!  Let me know how yours turns out.  Happy cooking!

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