delicious stock. So when I roast a chicken on Sunday, that means I can either do easy salads topped with chicken during the week, or I have the perfect base for a chicken soup (also very customizable!). A roast chicken can be done so many ways, with a variety of spices. In the summer, I recommend beer can chicken on the grill. This week, rosemary lemon chicken sounded perfect for salads. If I was going to make chicken tortilla soup with the meat, I'd swap out the rosemary for cilantro and the lemons for limes and follow the recipe below.
pork tenderloin with last summer's frozen homemade basil pesto. This week I'm slathering rosemary lemon butter on a chicken, using dried rosemary from last summer's garden.
- 1 whole chicken, thawed
- 2 or 3 lemons*
- 1/2 cup fresh rosemary* (or 1/4 cup dried rosemary leaves. Use less if rosemary is ground)
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
- 1 large or 2 small onions
1. Zest a lemon or two and chop up most of the rosemary. Add it to some softened butter. Add the pepper to the butter. If using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt.
2. Remove any organs / neck that came with the chicken. Wash the (thawed) chicken under cool water, inside and out. Place it in a baking dish (or 9x13 pan).
3. Slather the chicken with the butter, including the extremities and crevices. If the bird is cold, the butter will harden up - in this case it is better to do small quantities of butter at a time.
4. Slice the lemons in half and juice them over the chicken. Best practice: use a lemon juicer so you don't have to worry about seeds. Stuff the lemon halves and the remaining rosemary into the cavity.
5. Chop one large or two small onions into large chunks and tuck them in around the chicken, adding one or two chunks to the cavity. I put about half a cup of water in the pan just to make sure there is plenty of moisture available.
6. Roast at 400*, roughly 20 min per pound of bird, until a meat thermometer reads 170* in the thickest part of the meat. Check it every hour or half hour, and if (when) it starts to get too brown, cover it loosely in foil.
7. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes.
Next post will be on what to do with the inedible parts (neck, organs, carcass). In the meantime, enjoy rosemary lemon chicken on salads, in wraps, or served on its own with a side of rice pilaf or mixed vegetables.
This method - with lemons and rosemary - has been the most tender chicken I've ever done. Fall-off-the-bone (in fact, one of the wings fell off the bird while roasting!) tender dark meat; one of easiest birds I've ever disassembled.