Despite the fact that the temperature here in Colorado has been in the eighties the past few days, I had a hankering for a full-on Autumn supper of roasted chicken and potatoes.
I always stuff my chicken with a punctured whole lemon before baking, for a juicy, flavorful bird, but Jamie Oliver had a great recipe which called for throwing the lemon in with the potatoes while par-boiling first.
The fact that he slapped bacon on the bird for added moistness was also genius.
I served this meal with my usual acorn squash last night and it was quite sublime; a hit with the kids as well.
Roasted Lemon Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes
3-4 lb chicken
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4½ lb potatoes, peeled
1 large or two small lemons
1 whole bulb of garlic, broken into cloves and peeled
fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
6 strips of uncooked bacon
Rub the chicken inside and out with a generous amount of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Do this in the morning if possible, then cover the chicken and leave in the fridge until you're ready to start cooking it.
Preheat your oven to 375°F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Quarter the potatoes and put them into the boiling water with the whole lemon and the garlic cloves.
Parboil for 12 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for 1 minute (this will give you crispier potatoes).
Remove the lemon and garlic and set aside, and toss the potatoes into the roasting pan with a little olive oil and some rosemary leaves. Stirring the hot potatoes while still hot so they get a little scuffed will make them crisp up better while they roast.
Take the chicken out of the fridge, pat it dry and rub it all over with olive oil.
While the lemon is still hot, carefully stab it about 10 times and put into the chicken cavity (this steams the chicken from the inside).
Push the garlic cloves and more rosemary into the cavity, then put the chicken in the roasting dish on top of the potatoes (breast up).
Bake about 45 minutes.
Take the chicken out (its skin should be golden) and lay the raw slices of bacon over the chicken breast. Bake another hour, basting occasionally with the bacon-y juices.
Check the chicken for doneness once the bacon is crisp. You can tell the chicken is cooked when the thigh meat pulls easily away from the bone and the juices run clear. A meat thermometer should read about 170 degrees.
Remove the bacon from the chicken and crumble it over the potatoes. Carve the chicken and serve the hot lemons (halved) and the garlic as garnish (squeeze the juice over meat as you serve).
Serve with acorn squash.
Baked Acorn Squash
2 acorn squash
4 Tb salted butter
4 Tb brown sugar
Halve the squash and scoop out seeds (an ice cream scoop works best). Slice off a sliver from each pointy end so they sit up right.
Place in baking dish. Place 1 Tb butter, 1 Tb brown sugar, dash of salt and cinnamon in each half.
Bake in 375 oven for 1 hour. (I basted the edges with some of the chicken/ bacon juice as well towards the end).
Serves 4 as a side.
The adults had Pumpkin Lager (from Lakefront Brewery) which complimented the meal perfectly.
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