"Bistro is French cooking without the attitude," or so trumpeted the headline on MSN yesterday. Of course, I couldn't resist looking at their offerings. Beef Burgundy? Ho hum. Filet Mignon with roquefort? Don't need to dress up filet mignon. Roasted Lemon Chicken? Yippee! I was planning chicken for dinner anyway! The recipe called for lemon, chives and tarragon. OK, what is tarragon? Off to the 1930 Encyclopedia of Cookery....used for pickles, chicken....a European herb in the wormwood family (wormwood sounds so appetizing). "Tarragon adds the master's touch to lobster thermidor and chicken a la king." OK, I'm sold, I guess; anything that gives me the "master's touch". So I shipped my daughter off to the store to hunt up tarragon. The chicken turned out well; my dearly beloved told me I can make this again any time.
ROASTED LEMON CHICKEN
1 Oven Stuffer Roaster
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives (I used scallions)
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 tbsp dried tarragon
2 tbsp. softened butter
Remove the zest from one lemon into a bowl with the butter, chives or scallions and tarragon. Stir together until well mixed. Carefully peel the skin back from the bird and spread the seasoning on the chicken meat, replacing the skin. Quarter the zested lemon and put the quarters inside the cavity of the chicken. Put into a roasting pan and cook at 450 for about an hour, until the temperature reaches 175 and the juices run clear. Pour off the pan drippings into a saucepan, and let the bird stand 10 minutes before carving. I served it with roasted potato chunks (affectionately called "rock potatoes" by my kids). The recipe says to discard fat from the pan juices and serve the chicken with the pan juices only, but my hubby won't eat anything without some sort of sauce or gravy. So I made a sauce by whisking 1 tbsp of cornstarch with 1/4 cup cold water, and whisking into the chicken juices, then adding 2 tbsp whipping cream when the sauce had thickened. It was a fabulous finishing touch to a very tasty bird.
And, yes, in my photo here, my chicken is upside down in the pan. I always cook them upside down, so the juices will not drain from the breast meat, leaving the bird much moister.