I prefer to roast this chicken in a convection oven for a crispier skin, but if you have only a conventional oven, you'll still have a great result.
The recipe makes extra seasoned salt, which you can use on pork chops, leg of lamb, or roasted potatoes. It will keep in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for a month. If you prefer not to have leftover seasoning, cut the salt recipe in half.
1 chicken, about 4 pounds
2 tablespoons very finely minced lemon zest
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons sea salt, preferably gray salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 or 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1-1/2 lemons, cut into chunks
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F if you have no convection fan, or to 425 degrees F if you have a convection fan.
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 by 75 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.
Michael's Notes: Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest (yellow part only) from the lemons, then mince very finely. This method gives you a drier result than a grater does.
Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking
Wine Country Recipes for Family and Friends
by Michael Chiarello with Janet Fletcher
Photographs by Deborah Jones
216 pp; 109 color photographs
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created December 2002
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