...gonna kick the darkness 'till it bleeds daylight... musings of a hungarian in texas

©2003 by Annamaria Kovacs. All contents of this blog are the property of the author. Use with written permission only.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The World's Simplest Roast Chicken

%^&*^) Blogger ate the first posting of this, so I'll be briefer and much more grumpy than I was in the original version. When I have chipmunk cheeks from allergied sinuses the world should at least cooperate, right?

So this roast chicken recipe is really that simple. Nigella Lawson is, again, right, darnit. I was sceptical at first, but after I made this about half a dozen times, I have to concur.

You will need:

1 3-4 lbs. preferable free-range or organic chicken. You'll need the flavor, but not the antibiotics or hormones from the feed. The number of birds can be multiplied depending on the size of the household. If you have an eat-engine in your house like The Husband after martial arts practice, this recipe is for two people. Caveat emptor.
1 lemon, rinsed, scrubbed
1 pinch sea salt. Sea salt, not table salt. You would not believe the difference; you need less of it, too.
2 tbsp. butter (good quality, unsalted) or 2 tbsp. olive oil (no need to use extra virgin, use extra light and make sure it is 100% olive)

And let's get started:
1. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Or not. I tried both ways and it did not make any noticeable difference if the chicken is fresh. Just make sure the blood is drained from the body cavity.
2. Ram the lemon up the bird's butt.
3. Smear butter or olive oil all over chicken. Sprinkle with sea salt.
4. Place on shallow baking sheet.
5. Roast in preheated 400 F oven for 15 minutes per pound plus 10 minutes. I gave exactly 1 hour for my 3.3 pounder this weekend, and it turned out perfect.

Serve with garnish of your choice, but keep them simple, as the chicken here is the main attraction. I suggest a tossed green salad with some walnut oil and lemon juice, and, if you feed a crowd, roast some quartered potatoes, small onions and cloves of garlic with some olive oil and salt in the same oven for about 40 minutes.
The chicken prepared this way has a gloriously crispy golden-brown skin on the outside and the meat remains absolutely moist, juicy and bursting of chickeny goodness flavor.

Don't forget to save the carcass/bones! Toss it in a pot, add whatever vegetables you have at hand, pour cold water on it and simmer for 2 hours on low for the best chicken broth ever, then freeze the broth for a good soup when the weather turns windy and rainy soon.



At 11:05 AM, Blogger Madeleine said...

And it smelled like heaven too :-)
Seriously, Nigella is a goddess. I've yet to find her off base on any of her recipes (even if I'm not so sure, it turns out great). I also like that she's super accessable for foodies like me who don't have chef traing. By the way, have you tried her scones? So. Good.

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Annamaria said...

NO scones yet, I need to replace the currants with something as it turns out I am violently allergic...:-( Hey, maybe we need to put together a proper English tea one weekend afternoon with all the accoutrements? I can make lemon curd from scratch...:-)

At 12:06 PM, Blogger Madeleine said...

oh wow! that's a *fantastic* idea! we can definitely replace the currents in the scones with something else (dried sour cherries maybe?) and i've never had homemade lemon curd, only imported stuff from jars - can i just say that I'm really impressed that you can make it? Really, really. :-)

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Annamaria said...

::blush:: Thank you....I got the recipe from a lady whose apartment we purchased back in Hungary wihen I was living with my sister--she served it to us when we looked at the apartment the first time. It is rather quite good.
Dried sour cherries sound awesome. Yay, let's plan on this...we can play with our pretty tea sets!
I sound like a 10-year old, I am afraid...


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