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Lemon-Garlic Roast Chicken

lemonchicken.jpg
 
If you don’t have a rack to roast the chicken on, do what my French step-mother taught me years ago when we couldn’t find the meat rack. Lay a few rows of cut or baby carrots in the roasting pan and plop the chicken on top. Voila! Instant side dish.
 
Chick, Chick Here

Poultry is raised in different ways which can affect the flavor of the bird. Look for free-range, natural, and organic chickens – a healthy bird means that you’re eating a healthier dinner. Also, these chicks taste better.

 
Mass-Produced: Commercially raised in massive numbers, these birds are raised in crowded, controlled conditions that bring the birds to market at exact sizes and weights. Free-Range: Instead of living in a standing-room-only warehouse, these work-out chicks are free to roam outside for their food which results in a healthy bird, tasty meat.
 
Natural: These chicks don’t contain any artificial flavorings, colorings, chemical preservatives, or other synthetic ingredients. They may be exposed to antibiotics and growth hormones.
 
Organic: The birds eat organic feed that is grown with out pesticides (kills bugs) or chemical fertilizers (treats the soil). No drugs or antibiotics are allowed to be used.
 
What You’ll Need: Serves 4
1 (4-5 lbs) roast chicken, preferably naturally-raised
Olive oil
1 large lemon
6 large cloves garlic
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme, or both
Kosher or coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
 
What You’ll Do:
1. Preheat oven to 400. Remove the liver packet from the inside of the chicken. Wash the chicken with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Smear some olive oil onto the bottom of a large baking or roasting pan. Put the chicken on the meat rack, if you have it, otherwise, place the chicken in the middle of the pan. Smear olive oil over the chicken’s skin.
 
2. Wash the lemon and cut it in half, then into 1-inch pieces. Smash the garlic cloves with the side of a knife, pointing the blade away from your body. No need to remove the garlic skins. Stuff the chicken with lemons, garlic, and herbs. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the chicken. WASH your hands and all surfaces before preparing any other food.
 
3. Place the chicken in the center of the oven and roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Carefully, it’s hot and heavy, remove from the oven. Stick the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. The breast should read 160 with the juices running clear. If you check the dark meat, it should read 180. If it isn’t done, return to the oven for another 10 minutes, then check again. Let the chicken rest on the top of the stove for 10 minutes before slicing.
 
4. IMPORTANT: Have an adult assist you in carving the bird. Carve the chicken in the pan so you can save the juices. First, cut the thighs away from the breast, keeping the blade pointed away from your fingers and body. Next, slice the breast into quarter-inch slices. Place the meat on a platter as you slice. Empty the juice out of the chicken carcass and save for chicken soup.
 
To Serve: Serve the chicken with a gravy boat or small pitcher with the chicken juices. Add a side of rice and steamed spinach to complete! Save or freeze any leftover juices for your soup.
 
Tools:
Large baking or roasting pan, rack if you have one
Cutting board
Chef’s knife
Carving knife
Instant-read meat thermometer
Platter
 
By: Anne Vassal

BY GL ON 12/19/2009 7:01:00 AM

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