Who says you can’t have a nice looking dinner that doesn’t take forever to cook on a weeknight? Sometimes you want everyone to come to the table with a meal that not only tastes great but looks great, the problem is that most of us just do not have enough time to put this together after a full day. This recipe from Williams-Sonoma for a herbed roast chicken with lemon, garlic and red onions looks fantastic, tastes great and can all be put together in just over hour thanks to some high temperature roasting so you can have a whole chicken on the table for your family in no time at all.
Herbed Roast Chicken with Lemon, Garlic and Red Onions
1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 lemons, halved
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, plus 2 garlic heads, halved crosswise
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
2 small red onions, halved through the stem end
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat it dry well with paper towels. Season the chicken inside and out with the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and place two lemon halves inside the chicken cavity. Tuck the wing tips behind the back and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
In a small bowl, stir together the chives, thyme, oregano, parsley, tarragon, lemon zest and chopped garlic. Add the butter and stir until the herb mixture is well incorporated with the butter.
Starting at the cavity, slip your fingers underneath the chicken skin and loosen it all over, being careful not to tear it and reaching as far as possible into the thigh area of the chicken. Using your fingers, rub the butter mixture under the skin, distributing it as evenly as you possibly can,
Place the chicken, breast side up, in a large, oven-safe saute pan or skillet and add the remaining lemon halves, the garlic heads and the red onions to the pan. Drizzle the contents of the pan with the olive oil. Roast the chicken until the skin is well browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170 degrees, about 50 to 60 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a carving board, cover it loosely with aluminum foil and allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes. Carve the chicken and serve immediately with the roasted lemon halves, garlic and red onions alongside the chicken.
The compound butter that you put under the skin of the chicken adds all of the great flavors of the herbs along with the lemon zest and garlic to give you a great flavor boost to the moist chicken you get. The whole house smelled of lemon and garlic as it the chicken was roasting, which I enjoyed, and the taste of the chicken was spot on perfect. You could always use dried herbs instead of fresh if that is what you have on hand, but just remember to reduce the amounts used as dried herbs tend to have more intense flavor to them. This meal is perfect with some roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes or even wild rice and your choice of vegetables so you can have it as a great weeknight meal or even a nice, elegant meal when you have guests over without spending a lot of time in the kitchen.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!