Ever get stuck in a cooking rut? You find 3 or 4 recipes you master and then for about six months you’re eating grilled chicken breasts seven different ways. In this first year of FunnyGirl and I living together we pretty much went bonkers on the chicken breast. It’s so easy and versatile, right? Well, after a while the texture got to me. I longed for the juiciness and flavor that comes from a good old roasted chicken in the oven. A whole roasted chicken is just as easy as grilling a chicken breast. Best part is while the chicken is in the oven you can surf the net, hang up new kitchen curtains, or catch up on an episode of Scandal!
The flavors are simple, but when marinated overnight they bloom–taking your chicken to another level of savoriness. The lemon gives it a vibrant zing while the garlic and herbs give it a robust bite. Many smother the bird in butter to achieve that fought-over crispy skin, I opt to butterfly it–removing the backbone, and rub a little olive oil to give me an evenly browned bird. The secret though lies in using two oven temperatures. I start the chicken at 475 degrees for the first 20 minutes and then lower it to 375 degrees for another 50 minutes.
Lemon Roasted Chicken (Serves 6-8)
1 (3-4 lbs) whole chicken
1 small onion
1 head of garlic
1/3 cup tightly packed cilantro leaves
1/2 cup tightly packed parsley leaves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 Lemons, plus zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons for rubbing
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/3 cup white wine
Zest both lemons and add zest to a blender, food processor, or bullet. Add the juice of the first lemon to the blender, followed by all the other ingredients except for the chicken, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, stock, and wine. Puree until you have a smooth and thick consistency.
To prep the chicken, butterfly the chicken using a pair of kitchen shears and a boning knife.Then rinse chicken in cold water while rubbing the second lemon all over.
Using your knife, cut slits all over the chicken. Place chicken in a large bowl and pour marinade to massage it into all the slits. Marinate for 24 hours for deepest flavor, or at least 1 hour.
Remove chicken from the fridge at least 30 minutes before baking. In the mean time preheat oven for 15 minutes at 475 degrees.
Place chicken in the roasting pan skin side up. Rub remaing olive oil on the skin. Roast chicken for first 20 minutes at 475 degrees. In the meantime combine the stock and wine with the leftover marinade in the bowl and add this liquid to the roasting pan. Then lower oven temperature to 375 degrees and roast for another 50 minutes, basting every 15-20 minutes. Allow chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.