by Susan Hanna

For the past month or so, I’ve been roasting a whole chicken once a week. It’s easy to do, provides one dinner and two lunches for the two of us and then I make chicken stock from the carcass and get two more meals of soup. This recipe from Bon Appetit is simple — whisk together oil, lemon juice and honey and rub the mixture under the skin of the chicken and all over the outside. Place half a lemon and some rosemary inside the chicken and surround the chicken with shallots and lemon slices. Roast for about an hour. Cook’s note: To make stock, remove any meat on the carcass and set aside for another use. Put the carcass in a large deep pot and cover with cold water. Add a large celery rib, chopped, a large carrot, sliced, an onion, quartered (no need to peel), a handful of parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat so the stock barely simmers. Partially cover and simmer for four hours, skimming off any foam that comes to the surface. Strain the stock to remove the bones and other solids. You can use the stock right away or refrigerate for use within a day or two (it’s easier to remove fat from the stock after it’s been in the fridge. You can also freeze it.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use fresh lemon juice, as concentrates contain sodium benzoate. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.

Serves 6-8. 

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces (85 g) rosemary sprigs (about 1 large or 2 small bunches), divided
  • 1 4-pound (1.8 kg) chicken
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) plus 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey
  • 1 lemon, halved, one half sliced into eight ¼ -inch (0.6-cm) rounds
  • 8 oz (226 g) shallots, peeled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) Line a large roasting pan with ¾ of rosemary sprigs. Place chicken on top.
  2. Whisk ¼ cup oil, lemon juice, and honey in a small bowl to blend. Using your hands and beginning at the neck end of the chicken, gently lift skin away from breast. Under skin of the chicken, rub 2 tablespoons lemon mixture into meat. Drizzle remaining lemon mixture all over outside of the chicken.
  3. Place 1 lemon half and 1 shallot inside chicken cavity; stuff with remaining rosemary sprigs, dividing equally. Season chicken all over with salt and pepper. Place remaining shallots around chicken; arrange 4 lemon rounds on top of chicken. Drizzle shallots and lemon rounds with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil.
  4. Roast chicken, basting frequently with pan juices, for 45 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 425°F (218°C) and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F (74°C) and skin is deep golden and crispy, about 10 minutes longer.
  5. Spoon pan juices over chicken, shallots, and lemon slices and serve in roasting pan. 

From Bon Appetit