Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Roasting Chicken with Rosemary and Lime + The Most Asked Author Question by Cleo Coyle

The top question authors are asked (after "Have you ever met Stephenie Meyer?") is probably: "Where do you get your ideas?"

The question isn't a bad one, really, just way too general, which is why some novelists roll their eyes when they hear it.

I'll give you a culinary analogy. Imagine lifting a menu and asking a chef: "Where do you get your ideas?"

"Excuse me," the chef would likely reply. "For which course? Which dish?!"

Like a multipage restaurant menu, a piece of fiction has dozens if not hundreds of ideas layered into it. We authors draw from our pasts and presents, our pets and peccadilloes. We're inspired by our friends and families, our reading and hobbies. We might groove on a passing conversation or a passing thunderstorm; an exquisite or exquisitely bad meal; a brilliant sunrise or a lunar eclipse (dang, another Stephenie Meyer reference).

We writers harvest ideas 24/7, and spend months if not years cooking them into works of fiction, poetry, or dramatic lit. That's why a better question for an author might be: "Where did you get the idea for that particular storyline, character, or (in the case of mystery writing) crime..."


Cleo Coyle, who never
met Stephenie Meyer, is
author of The Coffeehouse
Mysteries
Like writing, cooking is an inspirational occupation, and often the ingredients dictate the dish. In the case of today's recipe, rosemary did the talking. Yes, a gorgeous green bundle of piney rosemary waved her little needles at me, and I swooned.





"Chop me up and cook me with a chicken," rosemary whispered in her needling little voice, and (for a moment) the shimmering image of a succulent, perfectly roasted rosemary-lemon chicken floated down the grocery store aisle. I blinked and it was gone, replaced with a rather burly produce manager, wondering why I had his herbs to my ear.

Granted, rosemary-lemon is a classic flavor combo, one I also use in my go-to recipe for rack of lamb. (Click here to download a free PDF of that recipe.)

Krista also did a wonderful rosemary-lemon chicken post, sharing a diet version using skinless breasts. Click here to get Krista's recipe.

But...after making Key Lime Coolers (cookies) last week and doing the lime taste test, I still had plenty of Persian limes on hand. (Click here if you missed the cookies post.)

With so many limes still rolling around my countertop, I decided to live dangerously, and switch the classic lemons for limes in my chicken recipe. I'm glad I did, too. My husband and my taste buds found the change a lovely and lively one.

Final Note: You might think it odd (at the end of the recipe) when I suggest squeezing a wedge of lime on the finished, carved meat, but a squeeze of lemon often finishes a dish, and I found the tart and tangy dash of lime especially refreshing on a warm summer day. I hope you do, too...





👇


To download a free PDF 
of this recipe that you can 
print, save, or share, click here.




CLEO COYLE’S
ROASTED CHICKEN
with LIME AND ROSEMARY



INGREDIENTS:

4 – 6 pound whole chicken
5 – 6 fresh limes (medium size)
1 tablespoon sea salt
6 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)

METHOD:

Step 1: Prep meat: First preheat your oven to 350º F. Allow the meat to reach room temperature (20 to 30 minutes outside the refrigerator). Rinse the chicken and pat dry. If your limes were in the refrigerator, warm them to room temperature, as well.


Step 2: Stuff the bird: Quarter one lime and place the sections inside the chicken cavity, along with a dash of sea salt and white pepper. Close the cavity. (I use a simple wooden skewer for this.)

Step 3: Create the rosemary-lime slurry: Place the sea salt into a small bowl and smash the garlic on it. Mix in the freshly squeezed juice of 2 to 3 limes (enough to measure about 1/4 cup). Add the chopped rosemary, poultry seasoning, white pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Now rub this slurry all over the bird and place breast side up on the greased rack.





Step 4: Roast: Lightly coat the top of your broiler pan or roasting rack with the final tablespoon of olive oil. (For easier clean up, I also like to cover the bottom portion of my pan with aluminum foil.) Place your pan in the center of your oven for about 25 minutes per pound, giving a bird of 6 pounds about 2½ hours of cooking time; a bird of 4 pounds about an hour and forty minutes. You’re looking for the thickest part of the thigh to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.




TO FINISH: Once cooked, allow the chicken to stand for 15 minutes before carving. To keep it warm, tent foil over the bird. If you cut into the bird right out of the oven, the juices will run out and your chicken will be dry instead of succulent.

TO SERVE: Cut your remaining limes into wedges and serve on the side with the chicken. Invite guests to squeeze a little juice over the meat before digging in, and please do…



👇

To download a free PDF 
of this recipe that you can 
print, save, or share, click here.


Click the photo for my recipe!


 
Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend or follow me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.




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