- 5 lb whole chicken, washed and dried
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup of butter, softened
- 4 large springs fresh rosemary, diced finely and divided in half
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- zest of 4 lemons
- salt and pepper
- Fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)
- cavity stuffing (sliced lemons, sliced onions, sprigs of rosemary)
- 4-5 large carrots, washed and peeled
When I had my first son, River, I remember having a train of meals delivered to our doorstep from some of the most thoughtful and generous people. Each meal unique unto itself; each prepared and cooked with love. However, there was one meal in particular that stuck out to me. It was a roasted chicken that my friend Stephanie prepared for us. Every mouthful was comprised of such delicious and savory flavors. The broth the chicken was prepared in was incredible, the potatoes and carrots that were cooked along side it were permeated with the beautiful and robust flavors. It was moist (hate that word) but it was! It was juicy (hate THAT word) but ohhhhh it was! The potatoes were tender…The carrots were melt in your mouth delicious… I kid you not, I literally just salivated while writing this post by simply THINKING about that meal. There is just something about a meal that includes a gorgeous roasted chicken that reminds me of bringing my baby home for the very first time.
So, for literally over a year now I have been telling myself that I too will roast a chicken of my very own someday ( I know, BIG dreamer over here…) but for some reason I just kept putting it off. I dont know, maybe I’ve been intimidated? Intimidated!? It’s a CHICKEN! What’s there to be afraid of!?….one might ask. Well folks, I have just one word for you…
That’s right, giblets. If ever there was a word that sounded EXACTLY like what it entailed, it would be giblets. Am I right!? And this little lady had never before removed them by herself…However, I am proud to tell you, and I will exclaim it from the rooftops, tonight I conquered my fear and gutted that sucker!….granted I gagged to the point of tears…but I did it! And you can too! I promise!
Lemon, Garlic, and Rosemary Roasted Chicken Start by preheating your oven to 425*F. In a medium sized bowl, add your butter that is at room temperature. In the same bowl, add in your olive oil, rosemary, garlic, and lemon zest. Stir to combine, and set aside. Next, begin the preparations for your carrots. Start by washing, peeling, and trimming the tops and ends of each carrot. Next, slice the carrots diagonally in order to make diagonal “coins,” and place the carrots on a foiled baking sheet (if you have a non-stick baking sheet, even better). Lightly drizzle the carrot coins with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Next, take your two remaining rosemary sprigs, dice finely and sprinkle on top of carrots; this will infuse your carrots with the same flavor profile as your chicken. Set carrots aside. (You will be baking them in the same oven as your chicken at 425*F, for 10-15 minutes). Now, back to the chicken. Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper, including the inside (of the now empty) cavity, as well as the underside of the chicken. Next, brush the butter mixture onto the chicken, generously covering the entire chicken. Stuff the inside of the chicken with your sliced lemons, chopped up onion, and whole (fresh) rosemary sprigs, and tie together the legs if desired. Finally, squeeze the juice of two lemons all over the chicken. Next, place the chicken in a roasting pan, and place the pan into the oven for 45 minutes. Baste the chicken once thoroughly, and return chicken to the oven for an additional 15 minutes or until golden. Lightly tent with foil if your chicken is browning too quickly. Finally, let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before carving. What worked:
The flavors of the chicken and the carrots were a beautiful, and I mean BEAUTIFUL marriage. The chicken was moist and juicy (thank you butter!) and the skin had an incredible aromatic and savory flavor with a delicious crisp to it. The subtle hint of rosemary could be detected through out without it over powering the entire dish. Delicious, simply delicious.
What DIDN’T work:
So, I missed the step in the directions that said to dry off your chicken once you had washed it. This made spreading the butter mixture nearly impossible. It took double the prep time, and I about lost my damn mind in the process. Also, I did not let my chicken rest for 15 minutes after it was finished cooking, and I found that I needed to return it to the oven for a tad longer due to this.
One suggestion I would make is to also make sure and get the butter mixture underneath the skin of the chicken, that will keep your bird flavored and hydrated. Also, if you are not using a cast iron pan like I did, I would make sure and place aluminum foil over your pan before placing your chicken in…that will make clean up a breeze! TIP: I served my roasted chicken and carrots with a simple smashed potato and a bright, light, summer salad.