Everyone needs a back pocket recipe. It’s that one impressive yet easy meal you can pull from your back pocket anytime you need a pass for dinner.
Last second dinner guest? Back pocket recipe. Need to impress? Back pocket recipe. Need something that won’t keep you busy at the stove? Back pocket recipe.
My friend Leigh Ann’s is pot roast. My Ma’s is arroz con pollo. Mine is roast chicken, and this lemon rosemary version is my absolute favorite.
This incredibly amazing dish is easy to execute and gives you plenty of time away from the kitchen to finish up cleaning or working or whatever else you’ve got going on. In my case, it gave me plenty of time to be distracted from work while watching two of my little troublemakers play hide and seek.
And, if you’re wondering how this fits into my better choices journey, it’s a winner. I’ve lost 30 so far – slow but steady. This #betterchoices roast chicken version lands a nice 314 calories per serving if you divide the whole chicken into four servings – that’s a hefty serving! Plus, this roast chicken can be done in a variety of ways. I’ll list a few variations at the end.
4.5 lb Whole Chicken, raw
1 Medium Onion, quartered
4 Garlic Cloves, whole
2 Fresh Lemon, quartered
3 TBS Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 450°.
Rinse and pat the whole chicken dry, ensuring all giblets have been removed. Place the whole chicken in a baking dish and set aside. In a medium bowl, add the garlic cloves, quartered onion, lemon, and 3-4 full rosemary sprigs. Sprinkle the herb combination liberally with salt.
Pour the olive oil over the herb mixture and toss together to coat. Now, you’re ready to stuff the chicken.
Place the onion, lemon, garlic, and rosemary into the cavity of the chicken. It’s okay if it doesn’t all fit. Take one or two of the lemon quarters and squeeze the lemon juice all over the chicken. Pour the remaining seasoned olive oil at the bottom of the herb mixture all over the chicken.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap. Then, season the chicken with salt, making sure to cover the sides of the bird well. If you wish, you can truss the chicken. I usually don’t truss my chicken unless I’m serving the bird whole.
Roast the chicken at 450° uncovered for 45 minutes. After the 45 minutes, remove the roast chicken from the oven and cover loosely with foil but seal the edges tightly around the edges of the baking dish. Place back into the oven for another 45 minutes. Chickens usually bake at about 20-25 minutes per pound based on the temp of the oven.
After the second 45 minutes, remove from the oven and uncover. Baste with its own juices and place under a broiler for about 5-10 minutes to finish the cooking and to brown the chicken nicely. Don’t leave the oven during the broiling period. It’s very easy to burn the chicken if you walk away while broiling. Don’t do it!
Remove the broiled chicken once the skin is a dark golden color. Serve over an easy baby spinach saute with tomatoes and mushrooms. The best part of eating this chicken is eating the baked lemons along with the chicken – don’t miss out! It’s the best part of the dish and what really takes it over the top!
Variations of this roast chicken are easy to do. Keep the chicken, olive oil, onions, and salt the same. Then, add any of the following:
Oranges / Thyme
Apples / Parsley / Garlic
Fennel / Apples / Garlic
Lemon / Parsley / Garlic
Parsley / Garlic
Apples / Garlic / White Wine (1/4 cup)
All delicious, aromatic, and easy!
LET’S KEEP IT REAL: First and foremost, I do everything for the love of food. Most of what I write about is because I love it! If I don’t love it, I tell you about that, too. From time to time, I may receive monetary or product compensation for mentioning products, offering recommendations, providing endorsements, or including links to products or services when I blog. While that may be the case for some posts, it is not the case for all. When it’s sponsored, you’ll see #sponsored when I post. When I’m just sharing the love, I won’t use that particular tag or hashtag. What you need to know is that I only give shout outs when I actually use the product or love it so much it deserves a shout out, sponsored or not.