Herb-Lemon Roasted Chicken
I usually roast a chicken about every ten days or so, because we like it and because having leftover cooked chicken in the fridge is a good thing. Of course my favorite method is on the charcoal grill (see Tuscan Wood Roasted Chicken) but often, due to weather or laziness, I do them in the oven. Over the years I've tried all sorts of methods, temperatures, flavorings, etc., and I'm always tinkering, but this is my current favorite, because the skin is nice and crispy and the herbs and lemon flavor the meat subtly.
6 - 8 lb roasting chicken, as fresh as possible
4 T minced fresh herbs (I favor rosemary, sage, parsley, oregano)
3 cloves garlic, minced
zest of one lemon, chopped
the zested lemon, cut in quarters
2 T olive oil
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Remove and reserve neck, giblets and wing tips. Mix herbs, garlic, olive oil and zest. Reserve 1 tablespoon of mixture and rub the rest over the chicken. Salt chicken and cavity. Place quartered lemon in cavity. Roast, on a rack in a roasting pan, in preheated 450º oven 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350º and roast, basting occasionally, until internal temperature in the breast reaches 157º. Remove from oven and place chicken on a platter and cover with foil, to rest for 20 minutes.
[Note: most of the following recipe is for the broth which is the base of the sauce...of course canned broth can be used...I just think that if you have the ingredients on hand, and you've got to wait while the chicken roasts, why not make some homeade broth for your sauce?]
Giblets, neck, etc. from chicken
1 T herb/garlic/zest mixture (see above)
1 C white wine
1 carrot, peeled, cut up
1 rib celery, cut up
1/2 med onion, peeled, cut in half
3 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs parsley
2 T flour
Place giblets and chicken parts in a saucepan and fill with water to cover. Bring to boil, skim off foam, and add carrot, celery, onion, thyme, and parsley. Simmer for 1 hour, then strain, reserving and chopping giblets. Keep broth warm.
When chicken is removed from roasting pan, skim all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Deglaze pan with the wine and quickly reduce by 1/2. Add the reserved herb/garlic/zest mixture and the 2 tablespoons flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 2 cups of the broth and cook for 1 minute until slightly thickened. Add chopped giblets. Adjust seasoning.