Chicken!!! It is the most boring thing on the planet to eat, UNLESS you have ever had really good roasted chicken and then it is divine, but, it is so hard to create restaurant quality chicken. There are a few tricks to making really good, juicy chicken.
First, start with good quality chicken. I know this sounds obvious, but the grocery stores normally carry mediocre quality chicken. You have to search! You want to look for words like “air-chilled” or “antibiotic free” on the packaging. The words “natural” or “hormone free” mean nothing because natural means that no preservatives were added, duh! And in America companies are not allowed to inject chickens with hormones so that claim is pointless.
Second, if you are cooking chicken that is not going to be crusted or covered in a sauce then you need to use skin-on, bone-in chicken. GASP! I know-the skin!!! Oh my gawd, “I might ingest calories”. An entire skin-on chicken breast contains only 50 calories and thats if you eat the skin. Most of the time I remove the skin once the chicken is on my plate, but to cook the breast with the skin on makes it more flavorful and juicy with very little extra calories. It’s worth it!
And third, DO NOT OVERCOOK the chicken. Use your digital meat thermometer to check for doneness. They are cheap and a must have in the kitchen. Just DO NOT put in the dishwasher!!!
When I make this recipe my “steak son” actually eats it! He is my kids that survives solely on beef, I swear he will eat beef three meals a day if I let him and there are weeks where I say screw it and he eats only beef! He’ll be fine, right??
Anyway, try this recipe-you will love it! You can serve it with spring vegetables (whatever you like) or fall vegetables or just alone with a salad. It’s chicken for heavens sake-its versatile.
Lemon Roasted Chicken with Spring Vegetables
Makes 4 Servings
2 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper
2 leeks, washed and sliced into half moons (use white and light green parts only)
1 bunch radishes, quartered
3 large carrots, cut into chunks
1 bag frozen peas (12oz) or fresh spring peas (blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes)
4 thin slices pancetta, chopped
1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth
1 Tablespoon butter
In a large zip top bag, combine juice of lemons, 2 Tablespoons oil, parsley, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken and marinate at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days (the longer you marinate the juicier it will be).
Preheat oven to 450Â°
Remove chicken from marinade and season with salt and pepper lightly. Place in an oven proof baking dish. Roast for 15 minutes.
While the chicken is roasting toss the carrots and radishes with salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon oil.
After 15 minutes of roasting, remove the chicken from the oven and place the carrots and radishes around the chicken. Place the chicken and vegetables back in the oven for another 30-35 minutes.
While the chicken and vegetables are roasting, sautÃ© the pancetta in 1 Tablespoon oil in a large skillet. Once the pancetta is crispy add the leeks and cook for about 1 minute. Add wine or broth and peas. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat off and add the butter. Swirl to melt.
After 30 minutes of roasting check the temperature of the chicken for 165Â° internal temperature. If done then remove chicken from baking dish to a plate and let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes tented with foil.
Add the carrots and radishes to the skillet with the other vegetables. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
With a sharpe knife remove the chicken breast from the bone and slice. Serve with vegetables.
*If you want to use fresh peas then bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and blanch the peas for 2-3 minutes. Drain and place in a water bath (small bowl of water with ice) to stop the cooking.
*Use good quality butter and you will not need as much to get the flavor. I love Kerrygold.
*If you notice that the skin on the chicken is getting too dark during the cooking process then lightly tent with foil for the remaining cook time.
*When testing the doneness of the chicken be sure that the temperature probe is not hitting any bone-you will get a false reading.
*If you don't have any wine open or chicken broth just use water.
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