One of my favorite meals is a roasted chicken. I’m always shocked when I hear that people just don’t make it from scratch. Sure it’s easy to pick up a roasted bird from Whole Foods, but c’mon, this doesn’t take much fuss and everyone will love you for it.
The key is to use a good bird. I picked an organic, free run bird from a local farm. Another tip is to not get too fussy with it. The Buchon recipe for a super simple roasted chicken which I’ve written about here is fantastic, but subbing in some dried greek oregano for the fresh thyme and then adding in lemon gives this meal a different twist. The oregano comes by way of my in-laws, who picked some up for me on their last trip to Greece. It’s a bit special in that it hasn’t been crushed yet so the stems and bulbs are left whole, but using regular oregano from your supermarket will be just fine. Lemon is also added for a bit of citrus zing.
This simple roasted dinner comes with vegetables: carrots, fennel, onion and potatoes are roasted under the bird round out the meal. Make a simply dressed green salad and you’re laughing.
elsewhere: Over at ReadyMade I lament that while it feels like spring outside, the farmer’s market suggests winter. See how I try to make the best of cabbage, kale and carrots (including a bonus recipe for braised carrots!)
lemon roasted chicken & vegetables
1 3 lb organic, free-run chicken
1 lemon, zested & juiced
1-2 t dried oregano, ideally if it’s got the “bulbs” (ie not ground or crushed)
salt & pepper
2 T olive oil
4 small-medium sized potatoes, cut into quarters
3 carrots, cut into 2-3″ lengths
1 large onion, cut into eights
1 large fennel bulb cut into eights
Preheat the oven to 450F. Rinse and dry the chicken very well, inside & out. If it’s not dry, the water will steam the bird & that is definitely not what you want. Dry, dammit!
Sprinkle the bird with salt, pepper and oregano – inside and out. Squeeze lemon juice over the chicken and sprinkle the zest overtop.
Add the vegetables along with a small glug of olive oil into your roasting pan or dish. Use your hands to coat the veg with the oil. Place the chicken on top and roast for 50-60 minutes or until done. You’ll note that the bird is done when you tug or cut into the leg from the bird and it comes away easily and the juices run clear. Let everything rest for 15 minutes before serving.