Monday, March 15, 2010

Lemon Chicken with Croutons

Doesn't that look delicious? It is seriously the best roasted chicken I have ever had. BEST EVER. The ingredients are so simple but when combined together, it is a chicken to be reckoned with. In a recent episode, Ina updated the recipe a bit and told the story of how women have gotten proposed to, after making this chicken for their boyfriends. I know 3 males who go crazy for it every time I make it.

I got this recipe from Ina Garten's cookbook Barefoot in Paris.

The chicken is simply stuffed with a couple of lemons, after having the inside cavity salted and peppered. Then it is a rub with butter or olive oil, and more salt and pepper. You place it on top of a bed of sliced onions tossed with olive oil. Don't go too crazy with the olive oil but don't skimp either. Then the chicken is ready to roast.

The first time I tried it, I thought it was weird to have the chicken served over the croutons, but oh my! When you get the pan juices,onions and chicken on top - WOW! I use the bread that I make for sandwiches. It is a firm loaf and holds up well for this.
Outside of using olive oil for the butter for coating the skin of the chicken before roasting, I follow this recipe to a "T". It has turned out perfect and delicious every time. This recipe would be great for anyone who is afraid of roasting a whole chicken. You will not be disappointed.

Lemon Chicken with Croutons
Barefoot Contessa- Ina Garten

1 (4 to 5-pound) roasting chicken
1 large yellow onion, sliced
Good olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, quartered
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 cups (3/4-inch) bread cubes (1 baguette or round boule)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Take the giblets out of the chicken and wash it inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers. Toss the onion with a little olive oil in a small roasting pan. Place the chicken on top and sprinkle the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper. Place the lemons inside the chicken. Pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels, brush it with the melted butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.

Roast for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Cover with foil and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. (The onions may burn, but the flavor is good.)

Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until very hot. Lower the heat to medium-low and saute the bread cubes, tossing frequently, until nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add more olive oil, as needed, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the croutons on a serving platter. Slice the chicken and place it, plus all the pan juices, over the croutons. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm.

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