Sunday, November 10, 2013

Roast Chicken Halves with Lemon Garlic Butter

Chicken. (Insert long sigh.) I just love chicken. There are so many things you can do with it that it's virtually impossible to get bored with it. I have so many ideas running through my head that I just can't keep up!

This roast chicken is my latest chicken recipe creation. And let me tell is delicious. I tried something new with this one and the result was the best ever. What did I do differently? Well, this chicken was halved. I've never tried to tackle it before but I'm seriously doing it this way from now on. Not only does it cook faster than when it's whole, but it cooks more evenly leaving you with super moist and perfectly cooked meat.

For the flavor, I whipped up some seasonings and mixed them up with some fresh lemon juice and zest which would have been great on the meat just by itself; but then I decided to go a step further and add some softened butter that I rubbed under the skin of the chicken. The meat ended up being super moist and had a nice, subtle lemon flavor.

We all just sat there at the table eating and talking about how good it. It was pretty ridiculous but, hey, you can't help it when the food is that good!

Roast Chicken Halves with Lemon Garlic Butter

 juice and zest from 2 lemons (1/4 c)
 4 cloves garlic
 1/8 tsp thyme
 1/2 tsp rosemary
 2 tsp parsley
 1/4 tsp paprika
 1/2 tsp pepper
 1/2 tsp salt
 3 TB softened butter
 1 5-6 lb chicken, halved

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Mix all ingredients except chicken together in a bowl. (Don't worry if the lemon juice doesn't incorporate in the butter all the way; the flavor will still be there.)
3. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a rack on top. Spray it with non-stick spray for easier clean up.
4. Remove bag (or inners) from the inside of the chicken. Rinse the chicken well under cold, running water and pat dry. Cut chicken in half (click here for Alton Brown's instructions), season with salt and pepper, and place on the rack, breast side up.
5. Gently separate the skin from the meat with your fingers and spread 3/4 of the butter mixture under the skin. Use one hand under and one hand over the skin to help spread it around. Spread the remaining 1/4 mixture over the top of the chicken skin.
6. Bake for about 45 - 60 minutes or until juices run clear and thermometer stuck in the meat between the leg and thigh reads 165°.

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