Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Roasted Lemon Chicken

Until this past Thanksgiving I had never roasted a bird before. Then I finally roasted a turkey. It was good. Obviously turkeys are huge and require a long time to roast so I thought well why not try roasting a chicken. I thought it would be complicated and time consuming. Then as I was browsing through one of my favorite cookbooks by Ina Garten I saw this recipe. Yum. Yum. This was so simple. A roasted chicken with lemons. But.... there was a twist. She makes homemade croutons by sautéeing them in some olive oil and then cuts the roasted chicken into pieces and lays the pieces over the croutons. The croutons sponge up all that yummy juice from the chicken. Ina describes that she was inspired by this idea when she went to France and saw these chickens being roasted (rotisserie) and the drippings would fall onto the bread cubes. Yum. I love chicken. I love lemons. I also LOVE croutons. Homemade you say? Well.... I never tried before either, but really its just some bread cubes (great way to use leftover bread) tossed with some S+P and OO. Yum! First they get crunchy on the outside and then they get a little soggy from the juices of the chicken. Perfect if you ask me. This is also a relatively healthy recipe.... for those of you who are concerned (as I should be....). To make it even healthier you could omit the butter and use OO instead. Tommorow, go chicken shopping. Make it for dinner. Let me know what you think.

Lemon Chicken with Croutons
Adapted from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa
Here is what you'll need:

  • 1 (4 to 5-pound) roasting chicken
  • olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 baguette or round boule French or Sourdough bread(cubed, about 3 cups)
1. Take the giblets out of the chicken and wash it inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers. Pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Preheat the oven to 425F.
3. Generously rub entire chicken inside and out with kosher salt and black pepper.
4. Quarter about 2 lemons........
5..... and stuff inside the cavity. I just tuck them in tightly and leave it like that... no pinning require (as long as they are not falling out of the chicken)

6. Place the chicken (breast side up) on a roasting pan covered with foil and drizzled with a little Olive Oil. Tuck the wings under the chicken. You can also tie the legs. I don't.
7. Now brush the chicken all over with the melted butter. Or you can brush it with Olive Oil if you preffer.
8. Now pop that chicken into the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 425F.
9. In the meantime at some point make the croutons......
.............. Drizzle a large pan with some olive oil... and turn the heat on medium-high.

10. In the meantime, cube a baguette. I have made these croutons with a sourdough boule or a French baguette. Either works just fine.
You will need about 3 cups. This specific time I only used 1/2 of a baguette as I was serving dinner only for the two of us.
11. Now throw the bread cubes into the pan with hot oil. Lower the heat to medium-low and saute the bread cubes, tossing frequently, until nicely browned, 8 t0 10 minutes.12. Add more olive oil, as needed, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

13. Place the croutons on a serving platter and please try not to eat them all while the chicken is roasting... I eat about half, so make extra. (oops, my bad)
14. The chicken should be done roasting in 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. It will look nice and golden like this!
15. Cover with foil and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. This allows all the juices to really flavor the bird. (Is chicken a bird???)
... Now, you could just set this entire bird (I like saying bird...) right over the croutons to have a nice presentation and carve it in front of guests right at the dinner table....
..or if you are like me and don't know how to carve the bird the right way, just cut it up into pieces and arrange the pieces over the croutons. This way all the juices soak right into the croutons.

I also take out the lemons and arrange them right onto the platter for a nice look. Some like to squeeze out the juice of these lemon wedges onto the chicken. Yum!
And of course, enjoy!


  1. yum! happy now? lol. question: how lemony is this?

  2. It is really not lemony at all. A very very slight hint of it. By the way, what was the name of that recipe... the chicken with milk?

  3. I made this chicken today- it was really good!:) I also put some rosemary sprigs inside the chicken with lemons and a few cloves of garlic:)Got tumbs up from my hubby! -thanks for the recipe!:)

  4. You are welcome! Rosemary always add a nice smell but my hubby doesent like it so I don't use it. I might try the garlick though next time.... could you taste it?

    By the way, who is Anonymous #2?



  6. oh, and i think someone recommended leaving the pot's lid on for an hour or so....

  7. from Anonymous #2 or!/profile.php?id=689548288&ref=profile

    No, you can't really taste the garlic and I also rubbed the chicken with garlic olive oil( I make it myself-for approx 1 cup of olive oil add 1 clove of crashed or cut garlic, it is perfect after leaving it at least overnight and I use it when I make baked potatoe wedges or for roasting veggies, etc). You can't really taste the garlic, but it adds a little"kick" to the bird;)

  8. Made this last night! It was delicious! Thanks for the recipe! :)