Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lemon Garlic Chicken

oven baked whole chicken

Lemon Garlic Chicken

It's that time of year again when the weather changes and I feel like cooking more. There is nothing better than a delicious baked chicken with roasted veggies. It warms the soul.

What I love about this recipe is that you can buy two or three whole chickens and bake them at the same time and have leftovers all week long or at least for a few days depending on the size of your family. With the leftovers I make chicken tacos, quesadillas, Asian chicken salad, panini's, chicken noodle soup and many more easy to fix meals.

 Sometimes I will give an entire chicken to my mother in law, my son "forever the bachelor"  or a neighbor in need and they appreciate it as well. It is a hospitable thing to do and it doesn't take much more of an effort on your part. I also believe it is economical because a large whole chicken can provide enough protein for a small family for a night or two.

I'll never forget when my friend Jan brought over a baked chicken dinner after I had an outpatient surgery. It was brought over hot, ready to eat sitting on beautiful caramelized veggies and whole fingerling potatoes.  A smile appeared on my face because I didn't have to trouble my husband with preparing dinner that night.
Here is the recipe:

Lemon Garlic Chicken

Preheat oven 375 degrees

2 or 3 Whole Organic Chickens
2 med size yellow or white onions
1 to 2 heads of garlic
2 lemons
1 bunch of parsley
Olive oil
kosher salt
3/4 C. White wine (Chardonnay)

Place chicken(s) in a roasting pan with legs sticking up. Sprinkle kosher salt liberally inside chicken cavity. Cut onions in half or quarters(leaving the peel on even!) and place in cavity. Cut head of garlic in half exposing the garlic on one side and put 1/2 head into each chicken. Cut lemon in half or quarters and squeeze 1/2 lemon into each cavity and toss it in. Divide parsley, and fold (stems and all) and place into chicken cavity.

Pour and rub @ 1/8 Cup Olive oil onto chicken on all surfaces leaving chicken legs sticking up.
Sprinkle liberally w/ kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Pour 3/4 C white wine into roasting pan and place into preheated oven.

Bake for about 15 minutes until skin is brown, then cover with foil. (this can also be done at the end of the cooking process by covering at first with foil, then uncovering for the last 15 to 20 minutes.) Chicken is cooked when skin is pierced between leg and breast and the juice runs clear about 75 minutes to1 1/2 hours. Let rest on counter covered for 15-20 minutes before carving.

Roasted veggies:
1 each of yellow and green zucchini sliced thick
1 white or yellow onion cut into chunks
1-2 yellow, orange or red bell peppers cut into chunks
2 carrots cut into thick slices
2-3 stalks of celery cut into thick chunks
1/2 butternut squash peeled and cut into chunks
4-5 potatoes peeled, and cut into quarters(or I prefer mashed potatoes)

Place cut veggies on sheet pans, pour a small amount of olive oil to coat, and sprinkle with kosher salt and cracked pepper. Toss. Bake veggies during the last 30 minutes of baking time until caramelized and soft when pierced with a sharp knife.

Gravy- If time, make a warm gravy to accompany the chicken and vegetables. Take drippings from roasting pan and reduce by half. Add canned chicken stock if you don't have enough liquid, but there should be plenty. Squeeze 1/2 lemon into gravy, and thicken with equal parts @ 1 teaspoon of arrowroot (found in the spice section), or cornstarch and water. After gravy is reduced pour in arrowroot and boil until thickened. Season with salt, pepper and a dash of Worcestershire if desired. Take off heat and add 1 Tablespoon of butter and stir until emulsified.

Will you make this for your family and friends? I hope you are inspired. Give me some feedback and share your thoughts with us. Post your questions. I'm here to help.