LUCY BURDETTE: In addition to casting about for low salt dishes that I can enjoy, I've had the challenge of identifying things to cook that guests will like. I've had a couple of very kind friends make delicious low sodium dinners for me. How I appreciate that!
Here's the note that my friend Pat left by my plate when we went to her home. Isn't this sweet? She was astonished at how much sodium is in everything.
Anyway, enough about that today! Instead of any more whining, I will give you a roast chicken that's not hard to make and is full of flavor. And then your sodium fiends can add salt as necessary.
The important key to this is to choose a good chicken. I use either Publix greenwise organic chickens or Bell and Evans. Neither of these have been pre-brined, important if you are watching sodium, and which you might not even think you had to think of! They are more expensive, but to my mind well worth it.
One whole chicken (I'll say it again, please don't scrimp here!)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1 to 2 teaspoons lemon zest
The lemon that has been zested
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
For the side dish, carrots and small potatoes, olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350. Remove the wrappings from the chicken, cut off any big pieces of excess fat, and make sure the cavity is empty. Mash together the lemon zest, garlic, parsley and butter. Carefully loosen the skin from the top of the chicken and use your fingers to spread the butter mixture under the skin. For a more lemony flavor, stuff the quarters of the lemon you zested into the chicken cavity.
Roast the chicken until a meat thermometer reads 165 and the juices run clear when you cut into the joint between leg and breast. The timing is going to vary depending on your oven. (Like MJ/Victoria, I also have a rocky relationship with my oven.)
While the chicken is cooking, cut the fingerlings in two lengthwise, and peel the carrots and cut them into chunks. Douse them in olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper on a baking sheet.
(If I was eating salt, I would also salt them. Instead, I used some Benton's Table Tasty for some extra flavor.)
About a half hour into the roasting, place the vegetables into the oven and roast them too, until they are soft and brown . Serve with something green and you have a delicious company-worthy dinner!
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