Monday, May 16, 2011

Lemon Roast Chicken

From Nigella: "It's something of a family joke that, whenever any of my siblings asks what I'm cooking for supper, it's this. It's less a recipe than a blueprint for life. There are few things that can't be made better by a chicken roasting in the oven, and those that are impervious are beyond any intervention.
This is how my mother roasted her chickens, and I expect it's how my children will do theirs. The buttery lemony waft through the house is, for me, the smell of home. And there's something about that simple bird, that iconic form with its crispy skinned curves and kitchen-filling aroma that makes it the elemental and perfect, unbeatable feast."

Honestly, I just couldn't say it any better myself.

Lemon Roast Chicken
as found in Nigella Lawson's 'Feast'

2 whole chickens
Yes, I really mean two. My family of 6 devours more than one, and trust me; you will experience a sort of smug happiness when you open your fridge to find the leftover chicken whose sole purpose is to rendezvous with you after the kids are in bed. You won't even bother walking away from the fridge to satisfy you carnal appetite.

2 lemons
2 Tbs sea salt
2 heaped Tbs butter, soft
olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Make sure your chicken is at room temperature, and cut off any string or rubber bands. Remove any gizzards lurking inside the chicken. Sit the chickens in a roasting pan. Put 1/2 a lemon into the chicken cavity, and sprinkle a little of the salt in there as well. Rub the butter over the skin and dribble with a little oil. Put into the oven and cook for 80-90 minutes. Let the chickens rest in the roasting pan for 15 minutes, sprinkling over the remaining salt and squeezing over the other half lemons while it sits, then move to a carving board. Deglaze the roasting pan with a little water, letting the juices and caramelized bits from the roast chicken make a small-volume but intensely-flavored gravy to spoon over the carved bird.


  1. Oh man! How does something so simple look so good. This is going on the menu for sure. It looks so easy too, except for that I really HATE dealing with the lurking gizzard junk.

  2. just wanted to tell you I made this chicken tonight and could NOT stay out of it!! I was actually licking my fingers afterwards. I don't recall ever doing that with KFC.