Thursday, May 24, 2012

5 Ingredient Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken

Usually roasting a whole chicken sounds like a lot of work, but I promise this dish is simple and delicious.  All you need is some lemons, fresh rosemary, and garlic.  Easy enough, right?!  Rosemary is a simple herb to grow and I am always eager to use fresh herbs from my wanna-be pot garden.  Of course, if you have a brown thumb you can always pick some up fresh at the store.  Make sure your chicken is antibiotic and hormone free, which is fairly easy to find if you look for it.  If you want an easy side idea, try traditional baked sweet potatoes.  Give them a good scrub and sprinkle them with a bit of sea salt while they are wet.  Place them directly in the oven on a rack directly next to your chicken and they will be done when your chicken is done.  I served the whole thing with a simple tossed salad and that's it!  It's that easy!  Now, what are you waiting for?!

There is something about a roasted bird that is so traditional and elegant

1 whole hormone free chicken, giblets removed
3 lemons, cubed
4-5 stems of fresh rosemary
4 cloves garlic, 2 whole and 2 minced
4tbs butter, melted
fresh ground salt and pepper
whole sweet potatoes (optional)

1. Preheat your oven to 425F.  You will want to place your bird in a shallow pan.  Generously salt and pepper the inside cavity of the chicken.  Don't be shy!  Then place a few large sprigs of rosemary and 2 whole garlic cloves inside and stuff it full of lemons, squeezing some of the juice inside the bird as you go.
2. Loosen the skin and shove some garlic and chopped rosemary underneath the skin of the bird.  This will help infuse the meat with flavor.
Use the leftovers to make a chicken salad!
3. Squeeze a few of the lemon wedges into the melted butter and stir.  Using a pastry brush, brush the outside skin of the entire bird generously with butter.  Squeeze some of the remaining lemons over the whole thing and place the rinds below and around the bird.  The lemons give it a wonderful flavor and keep the meat moist and juicy!  Salt and pepper the top of the bird. 
4. Roast for 1 hour.  If you are using sweet potatoes, scrub them, salt the outside, and place them directly on the rack next to the bird.  They will be done when the chicken is done.  When you put a meat thermometer into the leg of the bird, it should read 180F and the juices should run clear.
5. Slice and serve hot with a bit of the pan juices drizzled on top.  If you are serving this with sweet potatoes, make sure you mash in some Spiced Maple Butter.  Soooo good!

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