Monday, May 10, 2010
Lemon and Orange Herb Chicken with Carrots and Roasted Asparagus
Saturday night was "Date Night" for me and Donovan. He is leaving on Friday for a 2 week det, so we have been trying to have little "dates" together, even if it means watching a movie on pay per view and having a "picnic" on the floor in our living room. So I decided to make a "fancy" meal, since I knew we wouldn't be getting a real date anytime soon.
I had a whole chicken in the fridge and I knew I wanted to roast it in the oven. I also had a bunch of oranges and lemons to use, so I decided to put it all together.
Preheat your oven to 350.
First I rinsed the chicken off and took out the neck and gizzards and innards and tossed them aside. Normally I wouldn't condone throwing away perfectly good innards, but I knew I wouldn't have time to put them to use, so in the trash they went.
Pat the chicken dry and gently loosen the skin on the chicken. Cut a stick of butter into even slices and stick the butter under the skin. Put chicken, breast side down at first (this helps seal in the juices), into a roasting pan, and cover with 1-2 cups chicken stock or broth, if you don't have stock on hand.
Cut an orange and squeeze the juice all over the chicken, then stuff the orange shell inside the chicken. I threw some baby carrots into the pot with the chicken and dunked them down under the broth so they could get soft. Melt a stick of butter and pour it on top of the chicken.
Salt and pepper your chicken, then sprinkle with rosemary, thyme, sage, and any other herbs you like. Put in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, covered with foil or a lid. Then pull the pot out and flip the chicken over so the breast side is up. Then sprinkle with the same herbs you put on the other side, and a little more salt and pepper.
Slice a lemon or two into 1/4 inch thick slices. Then, using toothpicks, secure the lemon slices to the top of the chicken.
Roast for about 2 more hours, uncovered, or until the thickest part of the thigh reads 170. I cooked ours until the thigh read 180 just to be on the safe side, and it was still super juicy and incredible!!! If you want the skin to get a little crispier, you can remove the lemon slices and put it under the broiler for a minute or two, but don't overdo it! You don't want a dry chicken!!!
Let the chicken rest for ten minutes before serving: this helps the juices settle and keeps all the juices from running right out of the chicken when you make that first slice.
While the chicken is resting, pop your asparagus into the oven and let it roast. I usually just cut off the woody stems of the spears, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and my homemade lemon pepper seasoning. Then place on a cookie sheet and roast for about 5 minutes on each side in the already preheated oven.