We got the inspiration from Marcella Hazan and the result is a really juicy roast. Literally chicken with two lemons.
“No fat to cook with, no basting to do, no stuffing to prepare, no condiments except salt and pepper.”
Roast Chicken with Lemons – to serve 4
- 1.35-1.8kg chicken
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 small lemons
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
Sprinkle a generous amount of salt and black pepper on the chicken, rubbing it with your fingers over the whole body and inside the cavity.
Wash the lemons in cold water and dry with a tea towel. Soften the lemons by rolling back and forth across a counter with the palm of your hand. Pierce the lemons at least 20 times each with a cocktail stick.
Put both lemons inside the cavity of the chicken and close the opening with cocktail sticks. Tie the legs together at the knuckle ends with string but leave in their natural position rather than pulling them tight.
Put the chicken in a roasting tin, breast-side down. Place in the upper third of the hot oven. After 30 minutes, turn the chicken over to have the breast side up, try not to puncture the skin.
Cook for another 30-35 minutes, then increase the heat to 200C/400F/gas 6, and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Calculate between 20 and 25 minutes total cooking time for each 500g.
Serve the chicken as soon as it comes out of the oven, there is no need to rest. Carve the chicken and serve with the juices that run out.
Wine Suggestion: We invariably go for a Chardonnay with roast chicken. Try a fuller bodied style from Australia or California where really top-notch Chardonnays are being made at the moment.