Saturday, September 6, 2008

Lemon Basil Chicken

There's been a lot of lemon in my world lately. I do love lemons. Sweetened, with meat, sliced and tossed in water or iced tea, whatever the case may be, lemons are a good thing.

So last night I had a chicken to roast. I've roasted them with lemon and tarragon, but I still had some of the farmer's basil left, so that became the obvious victim of my latest cooking scheme. This was really good; I had nothing leftover, and poor Thor only got a little bit of pasta with his Bites & Bones. (And that stupid human expects Thor to survive on Bites & Bones? Hmph. She must be even stupider than we gave her credit for being!)

Lemon Basil Chicken

1 Oven Stuffer Roaster
1 Lemon, zested and cut in half
15 to 20 basil leaves, most of them chopped coarsely
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Zest the entire lemon. Chop all but about 5 of the basil leaves, and mix them in a small bowl with the lemon zest. Gently squeeze much of the juice out of the lemon halves into the zest and basil, then stir in the vegetable oil.

Rinse the chicken cavity, then lightly salt it. Put the remaining basil leaves and the squeezed lemon halves inside the chicken cavity. Using your fingertips, loosen the skin from the top of the chicken, including the legs. Using your fingers, slide the lemon zest and basil mixture under the skin, distributing it around as evenly as possible. If desired, salt the outside of the skin, but I didn't; the lemon and basil was more than sufficient seasoning from my point of view (I'm not a really salt
loving person here). Roast at 325 until the bird is done (I think it's about 25 minutes per pound, but please, please don't quote me on that! I just wing it, folks!). Skim off the fat, then make a gravy using cornstarch and the drippings (gluten free for Paula's baby, and it doesn't distort or hide the taste of the chicken, as flour can). If you didn't use salt, as I didn't, you'll need to add a touch of salt to the gravy. Served with rice and a tomato & cucumber salad, this made everyone happy. And with fall on its way, everyone will be looking for more warm comfort foods; here's my offering for you!


Paula said...

I always love looking at your china, and this chix looks so regal sitting on top of that platter. Your chicken looks like such a nice size. Unless I go to the "fancy" store, I'm lucky if I can find a bird that weighs 4 lbs. I'm going to find one, though, because this just sounds and looks so good, plus how else will I get the drippings! I wonder if it would be worth it to bake 2 at a time (if they would fit in the oven), so we could eat one and use the other for another meal requiring chicken. Tomato and cucumber salad sounds good to me for any meal!

You are such a good friend to think of my wee one, who was just asking about the boys and Thor, so I showed her your post of Thor and the visitors! I'm getting better with the cornstarch which, just as you said, doesn't distort flavor. I can't believe I haven't been using it all along!

Grace said...

a naked chicken like that is somewhat disturbing to me, splayed open like that. eh, no worries--it won't stop me from eating it. :)

Linda said...

I have a big bird in the freezer I think I'll lemonize! Sounds good, looks better!

Pam said...

There is nothing finer than than a yummy roasted chicken!

RecipeGirl said...

Sounds perfectly delicious. I love throwing lemons in to roast with various things. We did a baked salmon the other day and I sliced up a whole lemon and layered it across the salmon. Yum!

Greg C said...

I cooked a turkey today with fresh basil, sage and rosemary. I wish I had some lemon to glaze it with but I didn't. That lemon chicken sounds great.

Glamorous Life of a House Wife said...

MM! Looks delish! Thanks for sharing that. I will definitely have to give it a whirl! Stop back by my blog for a fun giveaway! :)

Prudy said...

I love roasted chicken with lemons, especially for Sunday dinner. It feels so farmy and old fashioned, but it's easy and delicious, too. We're making your port bread tomorrow. Can't wait.

noble pig said...

Oh how yummy....a good mild chicken recipe is always great to have around!