Lemon Oregano Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I have really been slacking in the kitchen lately.  Nick went to New Orleans for 4 days and during that time, Sydney Grace and I just ate what we wanted...simple, quick, easy meals that are probably not worth mentioning.  I assume most of you can make boxed mac n cheese, yes?  ;)  And turkey dogs with ketchup that ends up all over little hands, trying so carefully to dip each little wedge before popping into her little mouth.  With a resounding "MMmmm Mommy!"  Who can argue with that?

But I did start up again last night.  Yes I did.  And it was a good one, let me tell you.  And 100% my own creation, which is not usually the case.  The key to this recipe, I think, is the fresh oregano.  While I usually substitute dried herbs for fresh, when I don't have the fresh on hand, fresh oregano is really key to this one.  And let me tell you, the aroma that filled my house with this one....oh man, I could bathe in it.

Lemon Oregano Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

Here's what I used:

1 6 lb chicken fryer
1 large lemon
1 bunch fresh oregano (1/2 chopped, 1/2 on the stems)
3-4 tbsp olive oil
Garlic Powder

4 large red potatoes, cubed into 1-2" pieces
1/2 bag small carrots
2 medium onions, cubed into 1-2" pieces

Here's what I did:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Rinse and pat chicken dry.  Line roasting pan with foil to save on cleanup.

Season inside and outside with S&P and Garlic Powder in a nice, even coat.  Squeeze lemon juice from 1/2 of the lemon on the inside and outside of the chicken.  Then stuff the lemon into the bird.  Drizzle the outside of the chicken with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil, to coat.  Finally, sprinkle 2 tbsp of chopped oregano leaves over the bird.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 2 tbsp chopped oregano with the juice from the remaining lemon 1/2 and the remaining 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and season with S&P.  Add vegetables and stir to coat all veggies evenly.

Add remaining lemon and oregano (on stems) into the bird.

Using kitchen twine, or cooking bands, secure drumsticks together, tightly against the bird.  This will help seal in moisture, and keep the legs from getting dried out.  Also, fold the wings back behind the bird, for the same reason.

Cook the chicken for 30 minutes, and then add vegetables to the base of the pan, inside the foil. 

Cook an additional 45 minutes - 1 hour, or until bird registers 160 degrees with a meat thermometer and potatoes are fork tender (give way when you stab them with a fork).

I find it helps tremendously to re-apply olive oil 1-2x throughout the baking.  The skin of the chicken still gets really nice and crispy, without being tough or stringy underneath.  I just put my thumb overtop the olive oil bottle, and allow the oil to drizzle over the chicken and vegetables.

This turned out really, really nice.  The potatoes had a nice, crusty browning to them, and the skin of the chicken was crispy, fragrant and really yummy.  While Sydney didn't make it till the end of the cooktime (daylight savings has us all thrown off!) she does have some delicious chicken and roasted veggies waiting for her in her lunchbag today!


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