lemon & herb roasted chicken on apples

by Chen

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I roast a chicken for thanksgiving.

There is no need for a turkey since it’s a thanksgiving by myself (sigh…). I turn to turkey’s cousin, chicken.

Though I have tried millions of different ways to cook chicken, this is my first time to roast a WHOLE chicken, and now what I’m wondering is why I never tried roasting until this thanksgiving. The chicken smells wonderful due to the lemon and herbs and there is hardly anything wasted: I eat dark meat parts as they are, save the whole breasts for salad, and use whatever left after carving for chicken stock. The apples underneath the chicken add a sweet aroma and a festive hint, saying “happy holiday!”

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lemon & herb roasted chicken on apples

1 whole chicken, 4 lb to 5 lb, neck and tail removed
2 lemons, squeezed and juice reserved
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp EVOO, divided
2 apples, cut into wedges
Salt and pepper

In a large bowl, combine the lemon halves, lemon juice, herbs, garlic, 1/2 heaping tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Add the chicken to the bowl and coat with the marinade. Stuff the cavity with lemon halves and herbs. Place the chicken breast side down. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Bring the chicken to room temperature before cooking. Preheat the oven to 450F. In an oven-safe 10-inch skillet, combine the apples, 1 tbsp oil, a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Nest it in the skillet, breast side up. Tie the legs together with twine and tuck the wing tips underneath. Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper and the remaining 1 tbsp oil. Bake in the oven until the meaty part of the thigh reaches 170F, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes before carving.

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