May 4, 2008

Out of This World Chicken

Roasting chicken so it is done is a skill I just recently acquired. It's been nice not to have to cook the chicken the rest of the way in the microwave.

I found this recipe on the Simply Recipes blog - one of my favorites. And I have to tell you, her chicken recipe did not disappoint. Holy cow - or chicken - this is out of this world. This is certainly our new chicken recipe.

Changes I made - I did not cut up the chicken, I marinated it whole. I used the zest of two lemons and the juice of two lemons as well as some additonal bottled lemon juice. 3 cloves of garlic instead of two and I used all dried herbs. I roasted on 425 for 2 hours on a rack. I did not keep any of the liquid for sauce, we're not saucy chicken folks!

Lemon Chicken Recipe

3-4 pounds chicken parts (thighs and legs recommended), skin-on, bone-in, trimmed of excess fat
2 Tbsp lemon zest
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2-3 Tbsp melted butter (do this, it makes a world of difference for the skin and all around flavor!)
Lemon slices for garnish


1 Place lemon juice, lemon peel, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, whisk to combine. With the tip of a sharp knife, cut into each chicken piece one or two times by about 1/2 an inch. (This will help the marinade penetrate.) Place the chicken pieces and the marinade in a gallon-sized freezer bag. Rotate the bag so that all chicken pieces are coated with the marinade. Seal the bag and place in a bowl in the refrigerator (in case of leakage). Let marinate for 2 hours. (I let marinate for about four hours)

2 Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove chicken from marinade and place in a single layer in a large baking dish, skin side up. Reserve the marinade. Use a pastry brush to brush a little melted butter on to each piece of chicken.

3 Bake for a total of 50 to 55 minutes, until the skins are crispy brown, and the chicken is cooked through, juices running clear (breasts have an internal temperature of 165°F and thighs 175°F). Half-way through the baking, at about the 25 minute mark, baste the chicken pieces generously with reserved marinade.

Depending on the size of the breasts, they may be ready before the thighs, so if you are cooking a mix of chicken parts, keep that in mind, you may have to take them out of the oven before the thighs.

Let rest, covered in foil, for 10 minutes before serving.

4 Pour the juices from the pan into a serving bowl. Use a tablespoon to skim the fat off the top (save the fat for cooking with later, or discard, but do not discard down the drain or it will solidify and clog your drain). Serve the chicken with the juices on the side or a little poured over the top of the chicken.

Serves 4. Serve alone or with steamed rice.

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