Friday, September 30, 2011

Sunshine in a roasting pan: Lemony roast chicken

Okay, it’s dinner time and it’s already dark. I hate that. So I am on my annual hunt for recipes that bring a little sunshine to the table and I always find that lemon delivers a sunny fix. Plus this recipe has so much garlic that if you have a vampire problem, it should remedy that really fast.

I must say when we tested this, we weren’t sure we’d love the taste with all that garlic and all that rosemary plus the actual pulp of the lemon. So we actually had a back-up plan for dinner. Am I the only one who does that? We didn’t need that back-up plan because we both loved it. All the flavors are very much changed by roasting: the garlic ends up mellow and sweet and the lemon and rosemary are not overpowering. It’s a very different taste from my recipe for Greek Lemon Chicken which I intend to spring on you later this year.

The dish reheated beautifully and the leftovers made a great lunch the next day. I will confess to living by the rule of: cook once, eat twice. Gotta have some time to write!

Lemony roast chicken

Makes: 4 servings

1 (3 1/2-pound/1.5 kg) chicken, cut into 8 pieces (I hate cutting up chicken and next time, I’ll get that done)

1/2 cup (125 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup (125 mL) fresh rosemary leaves – the original recipe called for ½ cup, but I totally denuded my little rosemary bush to get the ¼ cup. Next time, I’ll try to full amount

1/4 cup (60 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice

10 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced (DH was convinced to do this)

1 lemon, peel removed (I used my trusty rasper but whatever works) and pith (white part) and pulp chopped (I used my mini-processor – I owe Krista for that)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste – but let’s say plenty

1. Mix olive oil, rosemary, lemon juice, pulp, garlic, lemon and salt and pepper.

2. Arrange chicken pieces in a baking dish (9 x 13 or so) so that they do not overlap. Pour marinade over. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator for about 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 475 F. This seemed very high to me, but it worked well and cooked fast.

3. Roast, turning once, until cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes.

4. Enjoy!

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  1. I miss the sunshine at the end of the day! Sigh. But you're right--this is a sunny recipe for going into the dark days. I love garlic and lemon, so this is going in my recipe box. Thanks, MJ!

  2. Mary Jane, you have me laughing! I would have wondered about all that rosemary and garlic, too. And I'm adopting your rule -- cook once, eat twice. Love it! This recipe appeals to me on so many levels. I love stick-it-in-the-oven recipes and the ingredients sound wonderful.

    For anyone who doesn't know, I donated the mini food processor as part of a basket at a Malice Domestic auction -- and Mary Jane won!

    ~ Krista

  3. Thanks, Elizabeth! Hope it pays off for you.

    And Krista, that basket was the BEST! I use everything that was in it, but especially the mini food processor. I'll get a shot of the domestic diva style apron one of these days. For those of you who wonder, Krista's fab basket was in support of literacy. Go Diva!

  4. Lemon, garlic, and rosemary are always a winning combo, and I love this take on it. Grinning about the mini food processor story. Sounds like a recipe sub-title to me - Literacy Lemon Chicken! :)

    ~ Cleo

  5. Literacy Lemon Chicken it will be, Cleo! Good thinking.

  6. Oooh - that sounds so good ... Garlic never scared this girl! I bet the marinade would be wonderful with vegetables, too (I'm thinking mushrooms, potatoes, eggplant, summer squash ...).

    Thanks for this, MJ!

  7. I think you're right, Wendy. I love roasting veggies and hadn't thought about adding lemon and garlic. Hmmm. Thank you!

  8. LOVE garlic. And people say I'm a vampire (HA!). No, seriously, my ex boss used to swear I was part vamp because all I ever wanted to work was nights. She teased that she never saw me in daylight. Anyway. I was reading along here, and all of a sudden got a strong whiff of lemon. I think it's a sign that I should try this recipe ASAP. Wendy, I think you're on to something with the marinade and veggies, too.