January 7, 2010

Company Roasted Chicken with Shallots and Meyer Lemon Sauce

An old friend from high school (another Heidi!) just emailed me for an idea for the perfect supper fit for kids, the hubby, co-workers and her boss.
I feel so honored, and sort of like the Dear Abby of dinner!

I swear this is one of the most memorable dishes I’ve made. I ripped the page with this recipe from out of my mother’s Sunset Magazine and made it for dinner one night a few years ago.  Now my husband swoons whenever I mention it. It’s not only the perfect go-to company dish, It’s rather seasonal too; Meyer Lemon’s are at peak flavor this time of winter and although you could always substitute them with just a regular grocery store lemon, Meyer Lemons elevate the recipe to new heights. Trust me.

For a medium sized dinner party, I’d probably do two of these. Even if you are simply feeding your own little family, two is perfect if you’d like delicious leftovers for lunch the following day.

1 4- to 5-lb. chicken

1 tbs kosher salt

2 medium Meyer or regular (Eureka) lemons

2 1/2 tbs olive oil, divided

1 1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 pound shallots

1/2 to 3/4 cup reduced-sodium or homemade chicken broth

1/3 cup dry white wine

Rinse the chicken inside and out; pat dry with paper towels. Loosen skin of breast and thighs and work some salt under skin. Rub remaining salt all over chicken and in cavity

Preheat oven to 375°. Zest lemons. Slice 1 lemon; juice half of the other.

Pat chicken dry, inside and out. Rub zest under as much of the skin as possible and rub any remaining zest inside cavity. Rub chicken all over with 1 tbsp. olive oil and the thyme. Put lemon slices in cavity.

Set a V-shaped rack in a heavy roasting pan large enough to hold shallots. Put chicken in rack, breast side up. Add shallots to pan and drizzle with remaining 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil, turning them to coat.

Roast chicken, basting every 30 minutes or so, until chicken leg moves easily and skin is brown and crisp, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours (remove shallots after 1 hour and set aside). Tip chicken so juices from cavity pour into roasting pan. Transfer chicken to a carving board and let rest, covered with foil.

Meanwhile, make sauce: Pour pan drippings into a measuring cup with a pouring lip. Trim tops from shallots and squeeze soft insides into a blender. Pour off all but about 1 tbsp. fat from pan drippings and add drippings to blender. Add 1/2 cup broth and the wine and pulse until smooth.

Pour sauce into roasting pan. Cook, scraping up brown bits and adding more broth if you want a thinner sauce, over medium-high heat on your biggest burner (or straddling 2 burners) until sauce turns a nutty brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tbsp. reserved Meyer lemon juice, or more to taste. Pour sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into a serving bowl. Carve chicken, discarding lemon slices; serve with sauce.

Serve with oven roasted garlic cloves and new potatoes tossed together with olive oil and fresh rosemary and a salad. Delicious with a crisp Pinot Grigio, like a local favorite by La Bete.

... and my lovelies, the cherry on the cake: Add THIS album to your iPod, it's the perfect playlist for cooking a roasted chicken.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to try this, Heidi...and yes, you certainly ARE the Dear Abby of Dinner!!! For me, anyhow...