Summer is here and that means dining outside with friends and family. When you do have them over you want everything to be just right but you also don’t want to be sweating in the kitchen preparing things when you could be enjoying the company. So we have a recipe that will be both be a main dish you can be proud of but is also will allow you be enjoying a glass of wine with your guest instead of monitoring the stove. This recipe for Lemon and Herb Roast Chicken gives you a chance to prepare things ahead of time to take the stress out of serving day and will get you plenty of compliments for knowing your way around the kitchen as well.
First things first, so get a quality roasted chicken that weighs about 3 lbs. you can find these at any quality grocery such as Whole Foods. The smaller size will fit perfectly in a Dutch oven, clay roasting dish, even a cast-ion skillet. All of these will be able to roast the chicken to a crispy outside, yet tender inside.
- Step one is to make the brine – Mix together 12 cups water, apple cider, salt, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, kombu, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf in a Dutch oven or large saucepan. Then bring to a simmer over medium-high, stirring the brine constantly until all of the slat and brown sugar have dissolved which should only take a couple of minutes. Remove from heat, and the brine cool completely, about two full hours.
12 Cups water
1/2 cup apple cider
1/3 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbs. light brown sugar
5 large garlic cloves, halved
1 1/4 oz Kombu toasted about (8 x 3 inch pieces) toasted
10 thyme springs
2 rosemary sprigs
1 fresh bay leaf
2. Make the Chicken – Remove the giblets from the chicken. Place the chicken in Dutch oven with the brine, cover and chill for eight hours or overnight.
1 3lb chicken
1 Tbsp. plus 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
2 thyme sprigs
2 rosemary sprigs
1 lemon halved, plus a little more for serving
1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided, plus more for greasing
some cooking spray
one 1 oz. shallot, finely chopped, which makes about 2 Tbsp.
1 Tbsb. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3. preheat the chicken to 300 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Put the remaining brine aside for basting. Season the entire chicken with kosher salt. Stuff the cavity with thyme and rosemary sprigs, lemon halves, and 2 tablespoons butter. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine, and tuck the wing tips under. Transger to a 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Grease one side of 2 large sheets of aluminum foil with butter and coat with cooking spray. Place the foil butter side down over the chicken, and rimp edges on skillet to seal firmly. Bake in the preheated oven until a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 150F which should take about an hour and 50 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and turn on the broiler. Allow oven to preheat for about 5 minutes then remove the foil and return chicken to the over. kBroil until the skin is dark golden brown, this process shouldn’t take more than 12 minutes but be careful not to burn as it does have butter on the outside.
4. Remove the chicken from the skillet and place on a cutting board. Let sit about 10 minutes and open the wine to be served with the meal. We recommend a nice Chardonnay. Place skillet on stovetop over medium-high, add shallots and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet. Cook, while stirring often, until butter begins to brown and shallots are tender, this takes about 3 minutes then remove from heat. Stir in parsley, chopped thyme, lemon juice, pepper, and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Adjust the seasoning to your taste, carve and serve with anything from potatoes for an outdoor setting, or even pasta for an evening inside. Either way this is a great main course to get your season started.