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CHICKEN WITH ROSEMARY AND LEMON SALT Print E-mail
by Sandra Lewis    Sun, Apr 9, 2006, 04:18 PM

Though I’ve never tracked it, I’m sure I spend more time in the kitchen trying new recipes than remaking old ones, “old” here equals tried at least once before.

rosemary_lemon_chicken_2.jpgA recipe has to really wow me to make it to the keeper list and this one did:  Michael Chiarello's “Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon Salt”. It was simple and flavorful, two important keeper criteria especially for cooking on a weeknight.

And when a 14-year-old comments, “Something smells good!” as did one of Ariel’s Thursday night violin students you know you’re on to something good.

Sadly, I can’t say the same for the side dishes I planned for this meal.

I was so intent on capturing the beauty of the chicken that emerged from the oven that I forgot about the asparagus and eggplant on the grill. I managed to salvage most of the asparagus, but the eggplant lost its life. When I did manage to retrieve it from the grill one of the eggplant pieces had small whispers of white smoke rising from its burned out center.

The chicken photo isn’t the sharpest, but it was the best I could do since I didn’t take another after the eggplant disaster.

Blogging can be a hazardous business.

Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon Salt
1 chicken about 4 pounds
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 or 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 ½ lemons cut into chunks

Seasoned Salt:
2 tablespoons very finely minced lemon zest
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons sea salt, preferably gray salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Rinse the chicken inside and out and dry well.

Make the salt: In a bowl combine the lemon zest, rosemary, salt, and pepper, mixing well. Rub the chicken all over with the olive oil, then rub with 3 tablespoons of the seasoned salt. (Reserve the remaining salt for another use.) Tuck the rosemary sprigs and lemon chunks into the chicken cavity. You don’t need to truss the chicken.

Place the bird on a rack in a roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue roasting until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced with a skewer, 50 to 55 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a platter and let rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Serves 4

Sandra’s Cooking Notes:

  • I combined the seasoned salt mixture with two tablespoons of the olive oil and used the entire mixture. I rubbed the chicken with 1 tablespoon of olive oil (maybe more) prior to rubbing on the salt mixture. 
  • As per Michael Chiarello’s suggestion, I used a vegetable peeler to remove the lemon zest then minced it. This gives a drier result than using a grater. I used the zest from two lemons then cut those lemons into chunks to stuff the cavity.
  • There are more great recipes in this book that I plan to try.
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