Monday, April 4, 2011

John’s Roasted Chicken with Herbs and Lemon

1 (3½ pound) free-range chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, softened (in the microwave for 1 minute)
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme or rosemary
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Lemon wedges, for serving
Chopped parsley to garnish, optional

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400ºF. Line a low-sided roasting pan with parchment paper. If you are using a pottery dish, there is no need to line it with parchment.
2. Remove the giblets and the neck from inside the chicken.
3. Set the chicken on its tail with the backbone facing you. Cut down along one side of the backbone from the neck to the tail. Cut down along the other side.
4. Open the chicken and split the chicken between the breasts from neck to tail. You now have two halves of a chicken, without the backbone. Remove the center breastbone if you want.
5. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, butter, parsley, salt, and thyme or rosemary. Massage the mixture all over the chicken halves, slipping some underneath the skin. Season with salt and pepper, especially the inside without the skin.
6. Set the chicken halves, skin side up, on the prepared pan and roast until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pricked, about 40 minutes. (A 4-pound chicken will take 50-55 minutes; a 5-pound chicken will take 50-60 minutes.)
7. Serve hot or warm, with lemon wedges and the optional parsley.

4-5 servings
Adapted from Carrie Brown’s The Jimtown Store Cookbook

Here are a couple of suggestions for dishes to eat along with your wonderful chicken:

Lemon Barley Pilaf

Indian-style Broccoli with Spiced Yogurt

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