Thursday, October 30, 2008

Roasted Chicken Welcomes Fog

Fall is by far my favorite time of year. In fact, this past July, when my activities consisted of barbecues, picnics, beach days and fireworks, I secretly wished that I was curled up by the (environmentally incorrect) fireplace, sipping hot tea and planning my holiday baking schedule.

I waited patiently for months for fall to arrive, swearing off sunburns with SPF 40 and praying that it would not get warmer. Now, it is almost November and I think the sun is playing tricks on me. A snowstorm is sweeping down the East Coast. Even in Paris it is in the 30s, but what was Long Beach's high today? 83 degrees. Yesterday? 92.

You can only imagine how happy I was when, driving home from work this evening, I could see a thick blanket of fog rolling in from the water, almost like a ceiling closing in on land.

The temperature had hardly fallen, and it was still well over 70 in the empty house, but I wasted no time welcoming the chill by roasting a chicken.

This is my favorite way to roast a chicken. I stumbled across the recipe this time last year in Ina Garten's Barefoot in Paris, no doubt rescued from the depths of a very scary-looking closet in our dining room soon after we moved into this house. Somehow, every time I make it, I figure out a way to stuff even more lemons inside, and this time I used two large onions instead of one just because I felt like it.

Lemon Chicken with Croutons

1 five-pound roasting chicken
1 large yellow onion, sliced

Olive oil
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
2 lemons, quartered
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

6 cups bread cubes (1 baguette)
Olive oil

Kosher salt

Ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Toss chopped onion with a little olive oil and spread in a small roasting pan. Wash chicken inside and out, pat dry and place on top of the onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper inside and out. Place lemons inside the cavity and brush the outside with butter.

Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and thigh. The key to tender and juicy meat is letting the chicken rest for 10 to 15 minutes after it is done. Don't worry if the onions look burnt. They add tons of great flavor!

While the chicken is roasting, toss bread cubes with olive oil until evenly coated. Toss with salt and pepper to taste. Then, add oil to a sauté pan and heat until very hot. When oil is almost smoking, lower the heat to medium-low and add bread cubes. Toss them frequently.

Once browned, place croutons on a serving platter. Carve chicken and place meat and juices over croutons.

Serves 4


Carol said...

That looks yummy!

G. Lee said...

It was yummy! And I had leftovers for lunch.

Kim said...

So that's what I smelled yesterday around noon. The aroma was divine. My hamburger from Carl's Jr. just didn't compare.

G. Lee said...

Maybe next time I'll bring you some...