Category Archives: roasted chicken

Roasted Chicken in “Lemon Gold”

Bear with me as I walk you through a hodgepodge of a recipe that will create – not kidding – the best chicken you’ve ever eaten. Don’t get nervous about roasting a chicken in milk. And lemon. And cinnamon. Still with me? Good. This totally bizarre-sounding recipe requires a little bit of faith but the end result….oh, man. The end result. This recipe makes your house smell completely unbelievable – sort of warm, and fragrant, and savory all at once – the chicken is the juiciest I’ve ever had, and the sauce – how in the world can little curdles of milk and lemon and cinnamon be so amazing?? Most of the dinner (with a guy who’s probably the best conversationalist I’ve ever dated) consisted 80% of talking about how incredibly great this was. Make sure you have some good bread on hand, too, otherwise you’ll basically be drinking the sauce out of the bowl. This is the bomb. 

CHICKEN IN “LEMON GOLD” (serves approx. 6) – adapted from Jamie Oliver’s “Chicken in Milk”
– 1 whole chicken (I used a 5 lb. one)
– 4 tbsp. butter 
– 2 tbsp. EVOO 
– 2 lemons, zested 
– Juice of 1.5 lemons (save the other half to put in the chicken cavity) 
– Pretty good-sized handful of fresh sage 
– 9 garlic cloves, peeled 
– 2 cinnamon sticks 
– 1.5 cups milk 
– Kosher salt & pepper 

1. Preheat oven to 375° 

2. Ugh, this is the worst part. Always. Rinse your chicken well, then dry it really well, too. I was a vegetarian for a while, and every time I have to clean a chicken it reminds me why. Just steel yourself and keep your eye on the prize! Stuff the cavity with the half of the lemon that you left unjuiced and some of the sage leaves. It helps if you have everything set out beforehand, so you don’t find yoruself needing some salt while you have all chicken-y hands.

 

3. In a french oven, melt the butter and the EVOO over medium heat. 


4. Season the chicken well with kosher salt & pepper. 

5. When the butter/EVOO mixture is frothy, carefully add the chicken and let it cook for approx. 4 minutes on each side. You can use tongs or two sturdy wooden spoons to turn it over. Let it get really golden and don’t skip this step, because this is where a lot of flavor and color develops. 

6. Remove chicken from the pot and put it on a clean plate. Pour the excess butter/oil from the pot into a heat-proof little dish and set aside – don’t throw this away. What’s left in the bottom of the pan is perfect for cooking the chicken. 

7. Put the chicken back in the pan (I roasted this breast-side up, but next time I’m definitely roasting it breast-side down so it absorbs the max amount of the sauce flavoring) and add the lemon juice, milk, sage leaves, garlic, and cinnamon sticks. Scatter the top of the chicken with the lemon zest. Cook for approx. 1 hour 45 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees internally. The lid should be on for the first hour, then off for the last 45 minutes.

8. Baste this “when you remember” (I swear, that’s an actual cooking direction). The lemon juice will kind of curdle the milk, but oddly enough, not in a bad way?? It gets kind of rich and flavorful and…right. How great your house smells about halfway through this cooking is nothing compared to how great this is going to taste when it’s ready. 


9. When chicken is done, carefully remove it and set on a plate and let it sit for about ten minutes. 


10. Make the “lemon gold” sauce from what’s left in the french oven. I fished out most of the garlic cloves (some of these will full-blown melt into the sauce) and gave them to Brendan, but I’ve read about people spreading these cloves on good bread they use for sauce dipping, which sounds awesome. I also threw out the cinnamon sticks and most of the sage leaves from the sauce. Then, because the consistency looked a little too dodgy, I blended this really, really well with a hand blender. 

Lemon Gold sauce, pre-blended

— We had this alongside roasted baby potatoes and wilted arugula, put sauce all over everything, and I added a new dish to the rotation. Hope you like this as much as you weren’t expecting you would!

Roasted Chicken

Brad and I had our friend Bobby over for dinner last night for two reasons – 1. so I could teach Bobby how to make balloon animals, and 2. so Brad and I could ask Bobby to be the officiant at our wedding next September.  Brad and I met because of Bobby, who had organized the fundraiser at which Brad and I met for the first time. Bobby’s married a few couples already as an “ordained minister”, and Brad and I couldn’t think of anyone more perfect to marry us. He’s one of our favorite people, and we’re so grateful to have him be such a key part of our wedding.

For appetizers, we snacked on a whole round of Boursin and rice crackers, because that might be our favorite combination ever, and roasted grapes with thyme, which is one of the easiest/more interesting appetizers you could make. We had roasted butternut squash soup and a simple roast chicken for dinner, with a cold lemon souffle for dessert. Oh, and wine. Lots of wine.  Lots to celebrate!
Bobby left our house like this after dinner, and went to a local bar for a nightcap, where he  told me this look “went over like gangbusters” – obviously.

ROAST CHICKEN (serves 4)


– 1 4-lb. chicken, giblets removed.

– Kosher salt & pepper

– Sage and Thyme leaves


1. Preheat oven to 450. 


2. Remove the chicken’s giblets, then rinse off the chicken and thoroughly pat dry inside and out. The drier the chicken, the less steam, which means more dry heat and a crispier chicken. 


3. Truss the chicken. There are a number of ways to do this, probably the simplest being to just tie the legs together against the breast. This helps keep the chicken juicy, and also helps it roast evenly. It also makes me want to be a vegetarian, EVERY TIME, because handling a whole chicken just icks me out. I kind of have to hustle through these couple of steps.


4. Loosen the skin away from the breast meat with your fingers. Arrange thyme sprigs and sage leaves underneath the skin layer for a little extra flavor. This is optional, but I really like it.


5. Place the chicken in a dutch oven (Le Creuset is perfect), salt and pepper the bird. Kosher salt should be rained over the chicken liberally – maybe 1/2 a tablespoon, and the same for pepper. 
6. Roast the chicken for approx. 1 hour – no basting, just roasting. The skin should get crispy and golden. Before removing from the pan, baste with the juices, the transfer to a cutting board. Tent with foil, and let sit for 15 minutes before carving and serving.