Italian Lemon Chicken

This one is one of our favorites. It is so simple and truly produces a wonderful chicken.                        

 

 Roast Chicken with Lemon

Recipe By     : Marcella Hazan, The Second Classic Italian Cookbook 
Serving Size  : 4    Preparation Time :1:40 
Categories    : Main Dishes

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method 
--------  ------------  -------------------------------- 
   1                    Chicken (1.1 kg.), Whole -- (39 ounces) 
                        Salt 
                        Black Pepper, Freshly Ground 
   2      Whole         Lemons

1)  Wash the chicken thoroughly in cold water, both inside and out.  Remove all the bits of fat hanging loose.  Let the chicken sit for about 10 minutes on a slightly tilted dish, until all the water has drained out of its cavity.  Dry it well internally and externally with kitchen paper.

2)  Sprinkle a liberal amount of salt and freshly ground pepper on the chicken, rubbing it into all its surfaces and into its interior, using your fingertips.

3)  Rinse the lemons in cold water and dry them off with kitchen paper.  The lemons can also be peeled.  Soften them up gently, pressing them between your two palms, and rolling them back and forth a few times.  Perforate each lemon in at least twenty places with a trussing needle or a round toothpick.

4)  Place both lemons in the chicken's cavity.  Close up the opening with toothpicks or trussing needle and string.  Run a string from one leg to the other, tying it at both knuckle ends.  Do not pull the legs tightly together; leave them in their natural position.  The chicken swells while it cooks and the string is only to keep the thighs from spreading and streching and splitting the skin at the inner folds.

5)  Put the chicken in a roasting tin, breast downwards.  Do not add cooking fat of any kind.  This bird is self-basting, so it won't stick to the pan.  Place it in the upper third of an oven preheated to 180° C (350° F).

6)  After 25 minutes, turn the chicken so that the breast is facing up.  Be careful not to break the skin.

7)  Cook for another 30 minutes, then raise the heat to 200° C (400° F) and cook for an additional 20 minutes.

8)  Bring it whole to the table, leaving the lemons inside.  Serve it with all the juices that run out.