Today’s recipe is one that looks impressive and tastes incredible, yet comes together with little effort. Roasted chicken is another fine example of how good food does not have to be complicated. It’s easy to prepare, and makes a perfect family meal that can be complimented by so many wonderful flavors. I’ve used Meyer lemons for this version. Whenever they are in season, I prepare a lemon sauce and drizzle it over roasted chicken. These lemons taste a bit different than traditional ones. I detect a hint of a pine, as well as a little more sweetness. They are perfect in this dish, since their skin is thinner and can be eaten– they almost become ‘candied’ when roasted.
I like to roast chicken on a high heat. It creates such a nice, dark exterior that I just love. Fear not, the inside remains wonderfully juicy. One thing to be aware of– your chicken pieces should all be relatively the same size. This will ensure even roasting. The breasts should be cut in half if they are too large.
The sauce is a simple one. It showcases the lemons perfectly. I suppose it’s worth exploring the idea of marinating the chicken in a portion of the sauce for a few hours before roasting. The lemon would really permeate the chicken. But, to be honest with you, I’ve never bothered. Let me know if you decide to give it a go. If thyme isn’t your favorite herb, this dish is also delightful with rosemary. Enjoy!
The Recipe: Meyer Lemon and Thyme Roasted Chicken
1 whole pasture-raised chicken cut into pieces (breasts cut in half, if too large)
1/2 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (from about 5 Meyer lemons)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon honey (more or less to taste)
1-2 Meyer lemons, thinly sliced for roasting
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 475°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, Dijon, honey, and salt and pepper together. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Set aside.
Place the chicken on the parchment paper and pour 2/3 of the sauce over it, coating all sides of the chicken. Reserve 1/3 of the sauce for serving. Remove and discard the stems from some of the thyme and sprinkle the leaves over the chicken, along with salt and pepper. Place the thinly sliced Meyer lemons on the pan, as well. Bake for about 35 minutes on the middle rack. Remove from the oven and serve with additional sauce and fresh thyme. Salt and pepper, as needed. Enjoy!
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