One of my husband's many talents is roasting the perfect chicken. Over the years he has fine tuned his recipe and every time he roasts a chicken, he claims it is truly simple. This is one of the basics in cooking that everyone should master before leaving home. And if you have long since left home and still haven't mastered the roast chicken, today is your lucky day because now is your chance.
Introducing our Charlie Brown Meyer Lemon tree. We planted this slightly pathetic tree in honor of a recent anniversary that we celebrated. Not that the past 19 years have been in any way pathetic, on the contrary, we know that this little tree will flourish like the vine on Jumanji after it gets one rainy season under its belt. We harvested the first ripe lemon from our tree to stuff into Mike's chicken. Wave at him there on the bottom left branch in the above photo.
Ripe and ready to pluck, our very first Meyer lemon pictured with the thyme from our garden. I think that if any part of a meal is grown at home, it makes the enjoyment of the food that much more intense.
Not a very ladylike position for a chicken, but one must stuff the cavity with the aromatic thyme and lemons.
Legs crossed, all trussed up and ready for the oven. In an hour and a half we will have a golden and juicy chicken for dinner.
Basic Roasted Chicken with Meyer Lemon and Thyme
1 fresh, preferable organic 3 1/2 to 4 pound chicken
2 tablespoons butter
1 large bunch of thyme
1 lemon cut into slices
2 tablespoons butter
kosher salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
To make carving easier, remove the wishbone. Lift up the flap of skin. Insert a small knife into each end of the breast and slice diagonally along both sides of the wishbone. Loosen the bone with your fingers and pry it out. Remove any lumps of fat in the cavity. Cut off the wing tips at the joint.
Gently slide your fingers under the skin of the breasts to loosen. Slide 1 tablespoon of butter under the skin of each breast. Stuff the chicken with the lemons and thyme. Truss the chicken shut with cooking twine. Drizzle the bird with olive olive and sprinkle salt and pepper and some leaves of thyme.
Roast on a roasting pan in a 425 degree oven for 25 minutes. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees and roast for another 50 minutes or slightly more, depending on the size of the bird. Check for doneness by piercing the breast of the chicken with the tines of a carving fork. If the juices run perfectly clear yellow then it is done. If their is a trace of pink, it is not done. Place on a cutting board and let the bird rest for 15 minutes before carving.
For a printable recipe, click here.
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