Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Getting under the skin, A Mundane Dinner Perked Up a Tad

Looks like the makings of a roast chicken...

The intense smell of rosemary and lemon roasting fills the apartment with a wonderful aroma. On a cold winter evening in upstate NY, one cannot resist the warmth of roasted chicken and potatoes. Roasted chicken, a good ol’ standby in everybody’s recipe repertoire. Simple, hearty, delicious, toss your ingredients of choosing on a chicken and shove it into the oven with potatoes and whatever other veggie you please. My thing with roasted chicken is that all those great herbs and seasonings that some people put on their chicken are all on the outside. Leaving the meat on the inside sort of flavorless. So, what to do? Get under the skin! Shove that seasoning/herb blend under the skin and all over inside the chicken cavity. (And if you really want to get it in there you can even buy a needle and syringe to ‘inject’ the bird with flavor, but I’m not at the injecting level just yet.) So here’s my take on the roasted chicken.

Lemon, Garlic & Rosemary Roasted Chicken

In a little food processor (or you could go with the pestle and mortar method) blend together:

The leaves of 6 sprigs of fresh rosemary (this is an estimate, use as much as you like, for that mater, everything here is an estimate)
7 cloves of garlic, peeled
The zest of 1 lemon
The juice of the said lemon
3 Tbl olive oil
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

Now, you take your rosemary mixture and coat the inside of the chicken’s cavity. Then pull up the skin and massage the mixture into the chickens flesh (its lots of fun). Lastly, massage the rest of the mixture into the skin. Place chicken on a roasting rack in a pan. That lemon that you zested and squeezed, cut it up into wedges and stuff those into the chicken cavity, along with garlic cloves (cut in half) and sprigs of rosemary.

Now put your bird in the oven, I did mine at 450°F for ten minutes, and then lowered it to 375°F for another long while. I suspect cooking your chicken at 375°F for about 1hour and 15 min would be enough, however I cooked mine longer. Why? Because I thought my dinner date was going to come home at 6pm, not 9pm. So if my chicken looks a little overdone, it’s because he was hanging out in the oven for longer than he probably should have been.

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