This recipe is a variation of the Barefoot Contessa’s Roast Lemon Chicken with Croutons that I published last year on Bearly Edible. I now use her technique to roast my chickens. I decided to add roasted root vegetables for a heartier winter dinner.
Roasting a chicken results in a moist chicken given you follow a few simple rules. Use a meat thermometer and roast to 180 degrees. Filling and sealing the cavity filed with lemons results in a moister bird. The lemons are really the key to this recipe. They add a flavor that is amazing.
A roast chicken goes a long way in our house. It is bariatric friendly and becomes the basis of many dinners. A roast chicken dinner becomes a chicken salad lunch which becomes a BBQ chicken pizza on whole grain flour tortillas.
Roast Lemon Chicken with Root Vegetables
1 6-7 pound roaster chicken
2 tablespoons extra Virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon oregano
2 lemons quartered
2 celery stalks
3 tablespoons melted butter
In a small bowl, mix the salt, pepper, rosemary and oregano. Wash the chicken and pat dry. Rub the salt mixture into the skin. Toss a handful into the chicken cavity. Cover and place on a pie plate and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. One of the new extra large food storage bags works great for this.
Prepare the chicken for roasting by quartering 2 lemons and stuffing them in the chicken’s cavity. It they do not fit, toss the remaining quarters in the roasting pan. Tie the legs securely tight across the cavity opening sealing it. Fold both wings under the body to keep them from burning. Lightly oil the baking pan. Cut the celery and carrots in half and make a bed for the chicken in the pan along with the onions that have been halved. Place the chicken on the vegetables breast side up. Drizzle the chicken with the melted butter.
Roast for 2 ½ to 3 hours until chicken reaches 180 degrees.
Roasted Root Vegetables
Assorted root vegetables:
1 sweet potato
1 large potato
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon oregano
You will need about 1 cup of each of the root vegetables. Cut the root vegetables into 1/2 – 3/4” chunks. Cut lemons into 8 pieces. In a large bowl toss the vegetables, lemons, olive oil and spices to thoroughly coat the vegetables. Place them into a shallow roasting pan. A large cookie sheet works well for this. Make sure they are in a single layer.
Put the vegetables in the oven 1 ½ hours after the chicken. Roast for 30 minutes. Stir and turn the vegetables. Return to the oven until tender and lightly browned. Roasting time will vary with the size of the pieces. It generally takes 1 – 1 ¼ hour.
Serve on a platter with the chicken.