Lemon roasted chicken is an economical but flavorful dinner. The recipe could not be any easier to make, making it perfect for weeknight dinners and special occasions.
When I was in college, as an English major, I had to take course on Hemingway and Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald I could handle…easy! But Hemingway? Ugh! My favorite author is Jane Austen, the absolute polar opposite of Hemingway…soft and romantic, contrasted with Hemingway, rough, outdoorsy and masculine. Yet, I ended up falling in love with Hemingway, man of few words, yet able to convey meaning so simply.
I think food is like literature, romantic or masculine. Sweet or savory. Short and to the point or long and drawn out. This is perhaps what I don’t like about some restaurant food, too many adjectives. As if more adjectives tacked on to a single dish can increase the price. I don’t like over-handled food, just as I don’t like over handled prose. Most of the food I prepare is definitely more on the Hemingway side of the cookbook shelf, simple. I think the essence of good writing, and indeed good food, is if the “artist” can get his point across in as few strokes as possible.
So to exemplify this point, here is a recipe for lemon roasted chicken. Also known as Pollo al Limone, the recipe is from Italian Chef and California Culinary Academy instructor, Carlo Middone.
Chef Carlo taught Italian Cuisine at the CCA, one of our required, 1 week long specialty classes. This lemon roasted chicken is simple to make. Simply poke the lemon all over with a knife, stuff it in the cavity of the chicken, then rub the body with kosher salt and olive oil. Roast at 350*F. for about an hour and a half, (for a 3 to 4 pound chicken) or until the internal temperature is 165-170*. Nothing else.
So simple! So Hemingway! Juicy and moist, tender and delicious. But sometimes the Jane Austen in me cannot resist rubbing the bird with seasonings, stuffing her with fresh herbs, like this French Roasted Chicken or perhaps a clove or 10 of garlic…but I digress.
Cooking tip for making the lemon roasted chicken:
Run your hand up under the breast of the bird, and separate the skin from the breast. Then, flavor the meat with olive oil and kosher salt instead of just rubbing it on the outside of the bird.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place chicken in a baking pan fitted with a rack.
Place pierced lemon in the cavity of the chicken. Rub skin with olive oil, and kosher salt, (make sure to salt inside of chicken too) and truss together legs with twine.
Roast chicken, undisturbed for 1-1 1/4 hours or until juices run clear when thickest part of meat is pierced or internal temperature reads 165-170 degrees F.
Remove bird from oven and remove lemon. Place on a carving board, covered loosely with foil and allow to rest 15-20 minutes.