I know, I know. Why am I still here? But this baby has decided to take his/her sweet time, so I am still plugging away. It's nice to have a little more time to get some things done, but I am ready to get on with the show!
A few nights ago I had a craving for this dish. It is super-easy to make, and has such a "wow" factor, that I had to share. Plus it makes your house smell amazing. Of course, it's another one from my favorite girl, Ina Garten, i.e. the Barefoot Contessa.
I have made this for guests many times, and everyone goes crazy for it! The reason? See those bread cubes underneath the chicken? My husband and I almost get into a sword fight (more of a fork fight, actually) over those. Every time. After you roast the chicken and toast the bread cubes, you put the chicken on top of the bread and carve it. The bread soaks up all the juices, along with some yummy onions that have been caramelizing with the chicken in the oven. It is absolute heaven!
This is seriously one of our favorite all-time meals. Now that I am writing about it, I want to go back and make it again right now! I hope you give it a try!
Lemon Chicken with Croutons
Ingredients1 (4 to 5-pound) roasting chicken
1 large yellow onion, sliced
Good olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, quartered
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 cups (3/4-inch) bread cubes (1 baguette from the bakery section of your grocery store)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Take the giblets out of the chicken and wash it inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers. Toss the onion with a little olive oil in a small roasting pan. Place the chicken on top and sprinkle the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper. Place the lemons inside the chicken. Pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels, brush it with the melted butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.
Roast for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Cover with foil and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. (The onions may burn, but the flavor is good.)
Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until very hot. Lower the heat to medium-low and saute the bread cubes, tossing frequently, until nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add more olive oil, as needed, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the croutons on a serving platter. Place the whole chicken on top of the croutons and slice it, letting all the pan juices and onions distribute over the croutons. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm.
Be prepared to fight everyone off for the croutons. Just saying.
Oh, and another side note. Once, my husband mistook one of the roasted lemons for a crouton. It was not good. He wants me to warn you so you don't make the same mistake! :)