Lemony Roasted Chicken with Crispy Potatoes
I've been promising this recipe for a while now and here it is! I make this every couple of weeks because it's sooo good and although it may appear to be a lot of work, it's really easy! I think this is probably our favorite dinner. The original recipe came from Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle website (www.goop.com). But, as with all recipes, I've made some changes and (in my opinion) perfected it!
1 chicken (5-6 pounds)
3 handfuls of fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme and sage work great but you can use others)
6 1/2 large lemons, halved and juiced (should yield about 1 1/2 cups...save the juiced halves of 2 lemons for cooking)
1/2 lemon, sliced
1 head of garlic (about 10 cloves), peeled
3 garlic cloves, minced
10-12 medium red potatoes, cut into wedges
freshly ground black pepper
Begin by cleaning and drying your chicken. Remove and discard the liver, neck etc. Wash the chicken under cold water scrub thoroughly inside and out with about 1/4 cup of kosher salt and rinse throughly. Pat dry with a paper towel and place the chicken in your work area.
Using sharp kitchen shears remove the backbone and thigh bones of the chicken. This will allow the chicken to cook in about half the time! The first time you do this... okay, the first several times you do this is pretty gross but it’s worth it! Once you get it down it’s easy and far less disgusting! (Warning: Images are graphic.)
Cut along both sides of the spine and discard.
Locate and cut out the thigh bones and discard.
In the center of a 9x13 inch casserole dish place your herbs, slice one half of a lemon into and place the slices on the herb bed along with your three cloves of minced garlic. Drizzle with olive oil. Place your chicken, breast side up over the herb bed. Pour the lemon juice over your chicken and a place few quartered lemon pieces along the sides of the chicken (these have already been juiced but help add flavor). Along the bottom of the pan (near the legs) toss all of your peeled garlic cloves. Season the chicken and garlic with salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and allow to marinate in the fridge for as long as possible (around 5 hours is ideal). This allows the lemon juice to begin to break down the chicken meat so it’s really tender and juicy. If you don’t have time to let it sit that’s okay!
Herb bed with garlic and lemon slices.
Ready to go.
Once your are ready to make dinner, place your potato wedges in a large pot of cool, salted water. Bring the water to boil and par-cook your potato wedges for about 5 minutes. Drain the water. Return the potatoes to the pot, put a lid on the pot and shake the potatoes around a bit until the edges of the potatoes are a bit “fuzzy” or softened. This will help the potatoes get really crispy. Dump the potatoes onto a cookie sheet and toss with some olive oil, a couple of the juiced lemon halves, salt and pepper. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Adjust the oven racks to the middle positions. Put the potatoes in the oven (on the lower of the two racks) and then preheat the oven to 450 degrees (this gives the potatoes a head start in the cooking/crisping process. When the oven is preheated place the chicken on the upper rack. Cook the potatoes and chicken covered for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, remove and discard the aluminum foil. Baste the chicken and cover the potatoes with a baster or two full of lemony chicken broth from the chicken pan. Toss the potatoes and return both to the oven for another 25 minutes. After the second 25 minutes your potatoes should be getting nice and golden, remove them from the oven. Baste the chicken and cover the potatoes with a baster or two full of lemony chicken broth from the chicken pan. Return the chicken to the oven for an additional 25 minutes or until your meat thermometer registers at least 165 degrees in both breasts. Once the chicken is done transfer all of the garlic cloves to the potato pan and return it to the oven to reheat and to roast up the garlic (about 10 minutes). Meanwhile you can carve your chicken.
This recipe leaves you with great leftovers that we either eat "as is" or use for Chicken Noodle Soup, Chicken Caesar Salad, Healthy Chicken Soup, Chicken Pot Pie, pasta dishes etc. Enjoy!