Friday, September 10, 2010

Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken

I've been on vacation, ya'll! Sorry for not posting, but I've been having too much fun traveling all around New York state (and a little bit of Vermont) for the past few weeks. Two awesome teammates and I made this roasted chicken for dinner during my giant (20+ person) family vacation on Keuka Lake.

The chickens came from the Pennsylvania Yankee Mercantile general store in Penn Yan, New York. No, nowhere near Pennsylvania--see the comments for an explanation. The store only sells items produced within 100 miles of Penn Yan. Their mission is to keep people in the community aware and in touch with their food chain. If you're ever in Penn Yan, please check them out!

Here's how we made the chicken:

2 small whole chickens (you could, of course, use just one)
thyme, marjoram, tarragon
salt and pepper

2 lemons

white wine

Preheat the oven to 350 or 375. Wash chickens and place in roasting pan. Smear the chickens with butter or drizzle with olive oil if you prefer. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and herbs.

Roll one lemon on the counter to get the juices flowing, then cut it in half and squeeze over top of the chickens. Stuff half of the lemon in each chicken, along with a clove or two of garlic.

Pour some white wine in the bottom of the roasting pan (enough to cover the bottom of the pan). We used a white table wine from the Salmon Run label of Dr. Frank's Vinifera Wine Cellars, a local Finger Lakes winery.

"Get the label in the shot, maybe they'll send me a free bottle," I shamelessly said to my cook teammate/photographer friend.

Roast for about two hours total, or until a meat thermometer reads 175 degrees in the thickest part of the chicken breast. Baste with liquid from the pan every 20 minutes or so, and add more wine if needed. Squeeze the second lemon over the chickens after about 45 minutes (once they've browned) and tent with aluminum foil to keep them moist.

We served these bad boys (girls, actually) with steamed carrots in a honey dill glaze, pasta Alfredo, green salad, and a watermelon and goat cheese salad.

By the way, this is the first post I've ever done on chicken. If you're someone who is intimidated by cooking a whole chicken, but knows that whole chickens are much much cheaper per pound than chicken parts, this looks pretty simple, right? You can follow the same steps, but change out the flavor components (lemon juice, herbs, wine) for different ones.

Remember to save the carcass (in the fridge for a few days or freezer for pretty much ever) to make stock with! Just plop it in a stock pot (or crock pot), add some quartered onions, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, and a bay leaf, fill the rest of the way with water, and simmer on low all day. Skim the fat off, strain out the solids, and freeze in ice cube trays for later.

(Awesome photography by Sarah Amico)


  1. Can you give more details on the carrot recipe?

  2. Dear Eileen,

    The name of the village of Penn Yan is a shortened version of Pennsylvania Yankee. And I think Salmon Run is a label of Dr. Frank's winery.

    Thanks for the chicken recipe! Can't wait to have it again.

    Happy birthday tomorrow!

    Mary Lou

  3. Thanks Mary Lou, I updated the post!

    And I'll do a separate post on the carrots.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Yum... For extra lemony flavor I zest a lemon (you could use an orange if that's what you were going for...) and mix with some course salt (you could add in some herbs if you wanted). Rub it under the skin and let it sit for awhile (or over night).

    (I use a lot of parentheses too apparently...)

    *Love* your food, your writing, your photography, and your mission. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Hey Ireen!
    Let me start by saying I love your blog and stalk you often! One slight thing with this recipe though... you don't need to cook your chicken to 175 degrees, especially if you just bought it and know where it came from. I usually cook poultry to 155 degrees and then let it sit 10 minutes out of the oven untill it reaches 165 and thats safe for mass produced, who knows where it came from chicken! If you know the seller and bought it just prior to cooking you could go as low as 140 and bring it up out of the oven to 150. You will end up with an even jucier chicken! (Although I do understand the stigma with undercooked poultry!)

    Love Beams,

  7. While I trust you, Des, being a professional cook with WAY more experience than I have, I should mention that the USDA guidelines say 165 is the minimum internal temperature for safety. And I wouldn't endorse anything lower (but Des knows what she's doing). :)