As I have been writing this blog, I have realised that one of my cooking holy grails is to find the ultimate roasted chicken recipe. I love roasting a whole chicken because it tastes great; it feeds my little of family of four plus leftovers for the next day; cooking on the bone makes for something that is moister and tastier than cooking fillets, and it is generally easy and fast to prepare, with most of the work done by the oven. And the smell of a roasting chicken in the house has to be smelt to be believed (try it if you have never done it!).
This recipe is an old favourite from "The New Basics" by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. These two published the Silver Palate cookbooks in the 80s, after setting up a deli in NY, and had a very big following in the US. They were less prominent in Australia, although I have seen their books at specialty cookbook retailers. I have had three of their books for at least ten years and refer to them often, especially for great salad ideas, and a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I still make at least once a month. And of course, fantastic roast chicken.... (By the way, any suggestions for the ultimate roast chicken recipe will be gratefully received!)
Chicken with Garlic, Lemon and Rosemary
adapted from "The New Basics" by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins
2 heads garlic (don't be afraid, roasted garlic is altogether different to raw garlic!!)
1 large onion
1 roasting chicken
salt and pepper
1 lemon quartered
6 sprigs rosemary
1 cup chicken stock
Remove the paper-like outer skin from the garlic, and separate the cloves. Do not peel them. Set aside. Cut the onion in half and them into slivers. Set aside.
Rinse the chicken well and pat it dry with paper towel. Place the lemon and rosemary sprigs in the cavity. Tie legs together (forgot to do that!). Preheat oven to 180C.
Put garlic and slivered onion in a roasting pan. Place the chicken on top. Add stock to the pan. Drizzle olive oil over chicken. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, remove the foil, stir the onions and garlic in the stock and baste the chicken. Bake uncovered for another hour, basting with pan juices every 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pan. Discard the lemon and rosemary and slice the chicken. Serve it with garlic cloves, onions and pan juices. The garlic cloves will be very soft and sweet, and squeeze out like a paste to smear on your chicken. Mmmmmm.