Winner winner chicken dinner.
I made this chicken last night and my house smelled like heaven. Making a roast chicken makes me feel fancy. Not that there is anything fancy about a roast chicken. It’s really so simple, rustic, and homey. The opposite of fancy.
I just gave this chicken a rub down and stuck it in the oven. Shhh, that’ll be our little secret.
I always make my husband play food critic when I make meals. I don’t think he likes this game very much but I don’t care. He’s my main recipe taster, and I need an honest opinion!
Let’s just say he’s not easily impressed. The good news is, he pretty much eats everything. Except dill. If he even finds a SPECK of dill in his food, he won’t touch it. Don’t ask.
When we finally sat down to this lovely roast chicken for dinner, I didn’t say a word. I didn’t ask him what he thought, I didn’t make him guess the ingredients, I just waited…
“Wow honey, what did you do to the chicken?” he says. Pleasantly surprised.
“Oh, this old thing?” I reply.
“Well…this chicken is special.”
Special!? Did he just use the word special to describe my food? On the outside I acted super cool and casual of course, but on the inside I felt like I just won Top Chef. He was right. There was definitely something special about this recipe. It’s bursting with flavor, moist (worst word in the dictionary), and extremely comforting.
The basis of this recipe comes from a very close family friend. She’s basically like my second mom, and happens to be my mom’s best friend. Her name is Cheri and she lives in Chicago. We call her Cheri Chicago. Clever, I know.
We love Cheri Chicago almost as much as we love this roast chicken. Whenever Cheri comes to visit us, we literally spend the entire three or four days planning out where we will eat, what we will cook, and where we will go shopping. I think we get along so well because both our lives revolve around food.
Anyhooooo, aside from cooking us fabulous meals and drinking fabulous wines, Cheri always leaves me with little hand written pieces of paper with her recipes on them. Best. Gift. Ever. I’ve got like a thousand of them, and they definitely make my life more delicious.
So, this slightly adapted roast chicken recipe goes out to my “mama” Cheri Chicago.
Cheri Chicago's Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken
- Trader Joe's brined whole organic chicken 4-5 pounds
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 lemons quartered
- 4 cloves garlic halved
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Rub the skin of the chicken with the olive oil. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper all over. Don't be shy.
- Cut the lemons in quarters, (or smaller if they don't fit) and stuff inside the chicken cavity. Smash and peel garlic, cut in half and stuff in cavity with the lemons.
- Using your hands, rub the butter under the skin on the breast. You may need to wiggle your way between the skin and the meat in order to create that little pocket for the butter. It's a messy job, but totally worth it.
- Using kitchen string, tie the legs of the chicken together. This will help keep everything inside the cavity, and lock in flavor.
- Roast chicken at 400 degrees for 2 hours.
Eat your heart out.