Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lemon Rosemary Roast Chicken

Whole chickens used to intimidate me. I was afraid of dealing witht the whole bird and afraid I wouldn't be able to cook it through without drying it out. As a result, every time they go on sale I grab a few and practice with a nice Sunday dinner. This week's was perfectly moist with a golden brown skin and tons of flavor to boot (I adapted some tips from this month's Bon Appetit for simple roast chicken and then flavored up). I hope you'll give it a try (or I'll call you chicken!).

Lemon Rosemary Roast Chicken

1 3 1/2 pound chicken
3 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lemon, zested and halved
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 475 degrees and place a rack in the top third of the oven. Spray a wire rack and place inside of a roasting pan. Place your chicken on the rack and gently press your fingers to loosen the skin as far as you can go in.

Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, rosemary, garlic, lemon zest and salt and pepper. Rub all over the chicken, making sure to get under skin as well. Place chicken, breast side up, on the rack in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.

Remove chicken from oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees. Let sit about 15 minutes. Brush with some of the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and put back in oven. Roast about 40-45 minutes, brusing with melted butter occasionally, until breast meat registers at 165 degrees. Let rest 15 minutes, then carve.

Mustard Giblet Gravy
Adapted from Simply Recipes

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 chicken neck
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chicken liver
4 1/2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons reserved roasted chicken drippings
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard

Melt butter in a medium sauce pan. Add neck and brown on all sides. Stir in onion and garlic and saute a couple of minutes. Add liver, water, bay leaf, thyme and salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer until chicken is about done. Strain the solids through a fine mesh sieve, reserving broth. Grab liver from the strained solids and finely dice.

Since my roasting pan is strangely shaped, I chose to make the gravy in the saucepan I created the broth in, but either pan would work. Star by warming drippings, then whisk in flour and cook about 30 minutes, whisking throughout. Stir in diced giblets and cook about 30 seconds. Then whisk in chicken broth (about 3 cups) and let thicken, stirring occasionally, 4-5 minutes. Add mustard and stir, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!


Jennifer said...

It's been years since I've roasted a whole chicken, and I'm sure it wasn't nearly as good as this looks to be! I'm confused about the pressing down with your fingers part...

rachaelsperling said...

I like the idea of buying something when it's on sale to experiment a little and not feel so bad if it's ruined. Congrats on mastering the whole chicken!