Saturday, June 14, 2014

Roast Chicken 101...Featuring Knock-Your-Socks-Off Lemon-Herb Roasted Chicken

Let’s face facts, my friends. Roasted chicken can be a thing of beauty…or it can be a dry, tasteless mess. Today, I’m sharing my technique for ensuring that your roasted chicken comes out of the oven with crispy golden skin and juicy, flavorful meat. Once you have a few simple tricks up your culinary sleeve, you’ll be ready to make the perfect roasted chicken. My Knock-Your-Socks-Off Lemon-Herb Roasted Chicken is flavorful and juicy – even the breast meat! All you need is about 5-10 minutes to prep your bird, and then your oven does the rest of the work for you.
My personal tips for roasting a perfect chicken are as follows:
  1. Start with a locally sourced farm-raised chicken. Here in San Antonio, I love to buy Peeler Farms natural chickens at the weekend farmers market. Their chickens are pasture raised -- never caged -- and they're not given medications or medicated feed.
  2. Flavor and season your chicken on both the outside and the inside. I rub my bird down with herbs, salt, and pepper. Then, I stuff it with lots of flavorful aromatics.
  3. Cook your chicken in a Dutch oven. I start out cooking it covered, then remove the cover the final 10-15 minutes to ensure the skin is crispy and golden brown.
  4. Let your chicken rest for about 10-15 minutes before carving, which allows the juices to redistribute back into the meat. That's how you end up with juicy chicken.
Wait until you see how tasty this chicken recipe is!
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Lemon-Herb Roasted Chicken
a Weekend Gourmet Original

  • 2-to-3 lb. whole chicken (preferably locally sourced)
  • 1 Meyer lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1 large shallot, cut into quarters
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tbs. olive oil 
For the spice rub:
  • Zest from one Meyer lemon
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbs. chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbs. chopped basil
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375. Thoroughly rinse the inside of the chicken with cold water and drain. Sprinkle the inside of the chicken with approx. 2 tsp. of kosher salt and 1 tsp. black pepper. Then, stuff the chicken with the Meyer lemon, shallot, garlic, thyme, and rosemary.
Step 2: Combine the spice rub ingredients in a small bowl. Rub the mixture all over the outside of the chicken, making sure to get some underneath the skin. Add the olive oil to the bottom of a 5-quart Dutch oven. Carefully place the chicken into the Dutch oven, breast side down. Cover and bake for approximately 1 hour. Remove the lid and flip the bird over so the bottom side can brown. Bake 10-15 minutes longer, until the skin is golden and the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a fork.

 Step 4: Carefully remove the chicken from the Dutch oven and transfer to a serving platter. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. Serve with your favorite sides…I love to pair this chicken with corn on the cob and mashed potatoes for a comfort food dinner.

That’s it…so simple, but so flavorful! The aromatics stuffed inside the bird give the meat a gentle flavor, and the herbal spice mixture gives the skin and meat a punch of flavor too. This chicken comes out moist and flavorful, even the finicky breast meat! If you have any chicken leftover after dinner, it makes excellent chicken salad the next night. I hope you’ll give this roasted chicken recipe a try and let me know how it comes out. 

Disclosure: Peeler Farms provided me with whole chicken to facilitate this feature. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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