In the mood this evening for something delicious, nurturing, and memorable? Then try this simple roast chicken with a rosemary and lemon salt rub.
This is my wife’s favorite way I prepare a whole chicken. It so beautifully blends the citrussy flavor of lemon with the earthy smells and tastes of rosemary. This roast may just be one of the juiciest you have ever cooked. It provides at times so much juice that you have a plethora of leftover gravy for a great pasta dish the next night.
If you want to really enjoy this one, place the bird on top of a bed of potatoes mixed with a little olive oil and the rosemary-lemon salt rub.
And rack this bird above a bed of fresh in season root vegetables and you have an easy crowd pleaser.
- One whole chicken
- a few sprigs sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1-2 lemons
- Salt Rub:
- 2 tablespoons of finely minced fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons of finely minced lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons of set salt
- Several grindings of fresh black pepper
- 3-4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 450° F.
- Rinse your chicken in cold water and dry thoroughly inside and out.
- Peel the lemon zest off of one lemon (I prefer the peeler as it produces a bit drier zest than with a grater or zester).
- Mince finely the lemon zest and rosemary and mix in a bowl with salt and pepper (if it looks like too much, rub the roasted vegetables with it or save some for another use).
- Pour the olive oil in the bowl and mix up thoroughly (I prefer this method of mixing salt rub and olive oil first, as it gives me more control in keeping the rub on the bird).
- Before rubbing the bird down, cut up your lemons (including the peeled one) and place them in the bird cavity along with the remaining rosemary sprigs.
- You can choose to truss the bird at this time, or not. I prefer to truss as it provides a more evenly cooked and moister bird.
- Place the bird on a rack (or right on top of cut up potatoes), and roast for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes reduce the oven to 375° and continue to roast for an additional 50-55 minutes, or until the juices run clear after piercing a thigh.
- Turn the bird at least once half way through.
- Transfer the bird to a platter and allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes.
- If you are roasting vegetables or potatoes, check them to see if they need additional time in the oven (they usually do).
While you are at it, why not roast two birds at the same time. The leftovers can be used for cold chicken sandwiches or torn apart the next night and added to the gravy that was left over, and tossed with some freshly cooked pasta, top it with parmigiano and you have a wonderful full meal:)
Finally, use the whole bird...refrigerate or freeze the chicken giblets, bones, and any remaining juices and make a tasty homemade chicken stock the next day or whenever.