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!