This is a fantastic standby and a great antidote to the festive food prep of the past few days.
All the ingredients are thrown together; the chicken is quickly browned then roasted in the oven along with the marinade ingredients. The result is juicy and fragrant and provided you have enough time to marinate the chicken for at least 3 hrs and up to twenty four, you’ll have a satisfying chicken supper that’s on the table within 30 minutes.
I like to roast the lemon halves after squeezing and zesting them; not so much for eating – although lemon lovers might want to – but for the additional flavor it imparts and that “Oh – a roasted lemon!” reaction you get when you serve them alongside the chicken.
This would go just as well with a pile of fluffy mashed potato as with a salad and if you want to make this for 2 or four people, just buy the required number of your favorite chicken joints on the bone (skin on) and adjust the marinade accordingly.
CHICKEN ROASTED with LEMON & FRESH HERBS
For the marinade:
The finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 cup (240ml) of white wine
1/4 cup (60ml) of extra-v olive oil
A large handful of mixed fresh herbs – about 3/4 cup (180ml measure), such as rosemary, thyme, parsley, tarragon, basil, sage, oregano, marjoram – whatever you like and in any combination
2 fat cloves of garlic, minced
A 3 1/2 – 4 lb (1.5 – 2k) chicken, jointed (i.e., 2 split breasts, 2 legs, 2 thighs, or however you prefer)
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper plus extra oil for sauteing the chicken
Lay the chicken pieces in a shallow dish in a single layer. Whisk all the marinade ingredients together and pour it over the chicken, turning the chicken pieces over to make sure they’re well coated in marinade. Throw in the lemon shells (remove all the seeds first), then cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to twenty four.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C).
Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off the excess, reserving the marinade. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a wide saute pan or skillet and brown the chicken pieces on both sides. Do this in a couple of batches to avoid overcrowding the pan which causes the chicken to steam, rather than brown. Roast the lemon shells the same way, cut side down, until lightly browned.
Pour all of the marinade into the saute pan and bring it to a rapid boil, scraping the lovely sticky bits from the bottom of the pan to incorporate. Pour this over the chicken and roast for 25- 30 minutes, until the juice runs clear from the thickest parts of the chicken when pierced with a skewer or the point of a very sharp knife.
Serve with your favorite vegetables, rice or a mixed green salad with a balsamic dressing.