This classic recipe is such a simple one-pan dinner. My addition of the citrus and herbs gives it a complex flavor that hardly needs anything more. The chicken is moist and juicy and the skin is crisp. The secret to crisp skin chicken is to make sure the skin is patted dry.
Chicken with Lime-Cilantro-Celery Rub Roasted with Garlic and Potatoes
prep time: 30 minutes
baking time: 50-60 minutes
1 x 4-5 lb whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry inside and out
1 lime, halved
zest of two small limes
2 medium onions, quartered
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup Chinese celery, leaves and stems chopped
2 heads garlic, peeled
4 potatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons melted butter
salt and pepper
Heat the oven to 350˚F.
Mince half of head garlic. Add the zest, cilantro, and celery. Mince fine and place in a small bowl. Set aside.
Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the lime halves, one onion, and the remaining half a head of garlic. Truss the legs with kitchen string.
Loosen the breast skin and stuff between the skin and the breast with the garlic-lime-cilantro-celery mixture. Brush the skin with melted butter. Salt and pepper the chicken to taste.
Put the potatoes, remaining onion quarters, and the remaining head of garlic in the roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. With your hands, mix the vegetables with oil and seasoning. Clear a space in the center. Nest the prepared chicken in the middle of the vegetables.
Roast for 50-60 minutes or until the chicken registers 160˚F when tested with an instant read thermometer. Let rest 10 minutes then carve.
This is a dish that cooks up in one pan but I used three! First you brown the chicken and potatoes on the stovetop then put them in the oven for finishing. At first I was dubious about the method. Yahoo Shine said to put a roasting pan on two burners for the stovetop part, but I used two pans to brown up the chicken and potatoes, then transferred the lot to the roasting pan. So even if you use just one pan or three, the result is chicken that’s crisp on the outside but juicy and tender on the inside with a delicious lemony flavor boosted by the capers. I didn’t get any sauce from this dish after baking, but my guests raved about the chicken’s flavor. Using seasoning salt to season the chicken is a little trick I learned from my mother, and I believe it really adds flavor to the chicken. I added brown sugar to the sauce for a little sweetness.
Lemon-Garlic-Rosemary Chicken with Potatoes (adapted from Yahoo Shine)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 50 minutes
For the chicken:
4 pounds chicken drumsticks
3 tablespoons olive oil
For the sauce:
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons dried rosemary
2 lemons, sliced into thin rounds about 1/4 inch thick, discard the thick ends
10 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 teaspoons coarse salt or sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 pounds potatoes, preferably red russet sliced in half (I used Yukon gold, halved then chopped into chunks)
Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Put the chicken drumsticks in a large bowl. Trim the excess fat from under the skin. Season the chicken drums liberally with seasoning salt. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil (either in two skillets or in a roasting pan resting on two burners). Brown the chicken pieces about 5 minutes, then add the potatoes and brown for another 5 minutes.
Transfer the chicken and potatoes to a roasting pan (if using the 3 pan method!) and place in the preheated oven. Bake 50 minutes. The original recipe said 45-50 minutes. Test a chicken leg to see if it is done. It should reach an internal temperature of 165˚F on an instant read thermometer. Serve hot with slices of buttered French bread.