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Feb 24, 2006 09:15 AM

Favorite roast Chicken recipe?

  • s

My friend made a roast chicken last week that involved baking it at a high heat, then lowering it.....ring any bells?

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  1. I did that last night. When I got home from the store I took the chicken out of the wrappings, rinsed and salted it and set it on a rack over a tray to catch any juices or water and put it out on my screened porch with the fan running to help it get real dry. It was out there about 3.5 hours. Heated the oven to 450 F. stuffed the cavity with lemon wedges (this was a 3.5 lb. bird)put the fat I had removed from the cavity on top of the breast and popped it in the oven to roast for 30 minutes. Then turned the heat down to 350 F. and roasted another 30-45 minutes. It was perfect and delicious with really crispy skin.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      Sounds excellent! I've always enjoyed your postings, btw.

    2. You must try Marcella Hazan's Chicken with Two Lemons - it's perfectly delicious every time. Here it is:

      Roast Chicken with Lemons
      from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan Knopf, 1995
      If this were a still life its title could be "Chicken with Two Lemons." That is all that there is in it. No fat to cook with, no basting to do, no stuffing to prepare, no condiments except for salt and pepper. After you put the chicken in the oven you turn it just once. The bird, its two lemons, and the oven do all the rest. Again and again, through the years, I met people who come up to me to say, "I have made your chicken with two lemons and it is the most amazingly simple recipe, the juiciest, best-tasting chicken I have ever had." And you know, it is perfectly true.
      For 4 servings
      • A 3- to 4-pound chicken
      • Salt
      • Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill
      • 2 rather small lemons

      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
      2. Wash the chicken thoroughly in cold water, both inside and out. Remove all the bits of fat hanging loose. Let the bird sit for about 10 minutes on a slightly tilted plate to let all the water drain out of it. Pat it thoroughly dry all over with cloth or paper towels.
      3. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt and black pepper on the chicken, rubbing it with your fingers over all its body and into its cavity.
      4. Wash the lemons in cold water and dry them with a towel. Soften each lemon by placing it on a counter and rolling it back and forth as you put firm downward pressure on it with the palm of your hand. Puncture the lemons in at least 20 places each, using a sturdy round toothpick, a trussing needle, a sharp-pointed fork, or similar implement.
      5. Place both lemons in the birds cavity. Close up the opening with toothpicks or with trussing needle and string. Close it well, but dont make an absolutely airtight job of it because the chicken may burst. Run kitchen string from one leg to the other, tying it at both knuckle ends. Leave the legs in their natural position without pulling them tight. If the skin is unbroken, the chicken will puff up as it cooks, and the string serves only to keep the thighs from spreading apart and splitting the skin.
      6. Put the chicken into a roasting pan, breast facing down. Do not add cooking fat of any kind. This bird is self-basting, so you need not fear it will stick to the pan. Place it in the upper third of the preheated oven. After 30 minutes, turn the chicken over to have the breast face up. When turning it, try not to puncture the skin. If kept intact, the chicken will swell like a balloon, which makes for an arresting presentation at the table later. Do not worry too much about it, however, because even if it fails to swell, the flavor will not be affected.
      7. Cook for another 30 to 35 minutes, then turn the oven thermostat up to 400 degrees, and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Calculate between 20 and 25 minutes total cooking time for each pound. There is no need to turn the chicken again.
      8. Whether your bird has puffed up or not, bring it to the table whole and leave the lemons inside until it is carved and opened. The juices that run out are perfectly delicious. Be sure to spoon them over the chicken slices. The lemons will have shriveled up, but they still contain some juice; do not squeeze them, they may squirt.
      Ahead-of-time note: If you want to eat it while it is warm, plan to have it the moment it comes out of the oven. If there are leftovers, they will be very tasty cold, kept moist with some of the cooking juices and eaten not straight out of the refrigerator, but at room temperature.

      1 Reply
      1. re: st germain

        I couldn't agree more. I've made (and loved) this recipe for years. Couldn't be simpler....or better. But...I've never had it puff up. Not once. And I'm a pretty good cook.(not that puffy means better) I made this once for my mother, who hardly ever cooks and is terrible at it. She asked for the recipe.
        She called me while making it and was concerned--she thought it might explode in the oven because it had puffed up. I was not a happy culinary camper!
        Does YOURS puff?

      2. and try the much praised zuni chicken--involves preseasoning with s+p and herbs for a few days. delicious. (do a ctrl f on this board for loads and loads more discussion). my next roast chicken will be a roast chicken with lemons inside a la zuni

        1. My first post here after lurking a long time. I LOVE roast chicken and have to admit a fondness for Zankou in Los Angeles, even though it's a bit off.

          I take the best chicken I can get (fresh, organic, whatever) cut the back bone out with shears, remove the fat and gross stuff and flatten/lay it on a bed of cut up carrots, turnips, potatoes on a foil lined (spray with a bit of cooking spray), rimmed cookie sheet. Let it sit to reach room temp...about 1 hour.

          Preheat oven to 450.

          In a small food processor throw in 2 or 3 large garlic cloves, 1/3 cup good mayo and some fresh thyme. Process until pretty smooth and spread it over the chicken.

          Sprinle with alot of kosher salt and a some fresh black pepper.

          Put pan in oven and turn temp down to 400. After half hour turn over the veggies that are not under the bird so they don't dry up. Put back in and cook for another 30-45 minutes, depending on how big the bird is. I usually cook a 5 lb for about 1 hour and 15.

          Take out of oven and move the chicken to a board to rest for 15 minutes. Then carve and serve with vegs.

          Way better than Zankou, but inspired by it.

          1. The recipe linked below for roast chicken is, so far, the best I've ever tried (and I've been looking for the perfect recipe for the past 15 years!). Follow the directions exactly and you'll end with amazingly juicy chicken with a very crispy skin every time.