Tuscan-Style Lemon Roast Chicken

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My search for meals that are easy to prepare – and easy to clean up – is never-ending.  One trusty standby is roast chicken. Quick to throw together, it comes out like a dream and leaves you with one pan to clean! While it’s always tempting to grab one from the deli at the grocery store (let’s face it – they are usually tiny), a roast chicken made at home gives you bragging rights.

We moms can always use extra bragging rights.

One recipe that is a family favorite is this flavorful lemon and rosemary Tuscan-style roast chicken. It creates amazing pan juices with tomatoes, capers and olives to serve over the chicken, and paired with mashed potatoes makes a simple but pretty meal (and I can sit outside with a glass of iced tea and a book while it roasts. Because do I baste? No, not really.)

Take the chicken out of the oven so it can lose some of its chill and preheat your oven to 400º.  Rinse the chicken and pat dry, then place in roasting pan.  (Remove the bag of parts if it is tucked in there.) I’m fussy, so I trim off the extra skin around the neck and such, but you don’t have to. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

(Yes, I said olive oil. For a plain old chicken, I’d rub it with butter, and maybe some minced rosemary. But not this bird. Carry on.)

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Place halved lemon and two stalks of rosemary in the, um, cavity of the chicken. (Why does that sound so wrong?)

Tie the legs together with kitchen string if you want to be fancy – I actually have kitchen string, yay me, and stick tips of wings underneath bird.

(Wash your hands, because ew, raw chicken.)

Roast in oven for 35 minutes.

Remove pan from the oven.  Distribute the remaining rosemary along with the halved garlic bulbs, tomatoes (still on the vine is best, or at least it looks fancy),  drained olives,  and capers around the chicken.  SO pretty!

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Pour in one cup of red wine. (And if the idea of red wine really freaks you out – that’s ok, you can use white wine. I won’t judge. Heck, I won’t know. But trust me – it works nicely.)

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Return pan to oven for another 38 minutes-ish* – until juices run clear, as ovens vary, and an instant read thermometer inserted in the thighs reads 165º-170º.  If the skin starts to get too brown for your liking, loosely cover with aluminum foil.

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* To calculate cooking time, use 45 minutes + 7 minutes per pound. For a 4 pound bird, this would be approximately 73 minutes.  You will want to start checking temperature about 10 minutes before the end of calculated cooking time.

Set chicken on cutting board to rest, removing lemons and rosemary from chicken cavity.

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Discard rosemary and tomato vines from the cooking juices. It’s no fun to pick rosemary stems from your teeth.

Tip chicken to allow any juices in cavity to drain (you want every last yummy bit and as little mess as you can manage when carving). Place chicken on carving board and loosely cover with foil.

Remove garlic bulbs and set aside. Next, spoon the cooking juices, tomatoes, capers and olives into a small serving bowl. Squeeze the roasted cloves out of the bulbs and add to the bowl. Mmmm, roasted garlic.

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Carve up your roast chicken in to pieces, or if your family is like mine and everyone wants the breast, carve up the breast and serve the remaining pieces whole. Serve up with the cooking juice…mixture and some mashed potatoes on the side. If you’re not watching your carbs, some Italian bread would soak up the juices nicely.

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It might have been helpful if I showed you how I carved the bird. I’ll be honest. I’m terrible at it, and my family just wants the meat, so it isn’t a pretty sight. You’ll forgive me when you taste it, though, and forget all about my oversight.

But there is a caveat to this yummy dish – it makes a nasty baked-on mess to be scrubbed from the pan. Thanks, olive oil spatters.  Since I have a small divided sink, it can be a bear to soak, so I confess more often then not I’ll fill the pan with hot water and dish soap and leave on the stovetop to soak overnight.

roast chicken, palmolive

Lucky for you, I’ll share with you my latest find.  I discovered Fusion Clean™ Baking Soda and Lime when I was at Kroger picking up the ingredients for my recipe. This new Palmolive® Fusion Clean™ dish liquid is formulated for cleaning the nastiest baked on mess, and its special formula will remove even that 24-hour stuck on food that your kiddo left in the sink overnight (or the roasting tin that you forgot about because you went to a neighborhood get-together after dinner…)

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I’m a sucker for the scent of lime so the Baking Soda & Lime is what I gravitate too, but the bright pink Baking Soda & Grapefruit smells so good that I have to monitor how much my kiddo uses when she’s helping with dishes – especially since it’s ultra-concentrated so it will clean about two-and-a-half times more dishes than their traditional (non-concentrated) Palmolive® dish liquid.

From 6/12-6/25, you can save $0.50 on a 22oz+ size Palmolive® dish liquid (which includes  Palmolive® Fusion Clean™) at Kroger. And when you need to stock up in another month – because with the kids home from school, the dishes will be piling up, right? – there will be another offer where to save $0.25 from 7/24 – 8/6.

Roast chicken is the ultimate comfort food. I love this yummy recipe, and the kids gobbled it up (even the one who spied lemons hiding inside – and she doesn’t like lemons). No leftovers definitely shortens the clean up process – as does with a squeeze of Palmolive® Fusion Clean™ dish liquid.

Roast chicken prepared in my favorite enamel pan is definitely a mess to clean (but easier now) – so tell me, what is YOUR favorite “messy” meal?

Tuscan-Style Lemon Roasted Chicken

Tuscan-Style Lemon Roasted Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 lb whole chicken (I prefer free range)
  • 1-1/2 TBSP olive oil
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 6-7 stalks fresh rosemary (contents of one organic pack of rosemary)
  • 1-lb tomatoes on-the-vine (either campari or baby tomatoes)
  • 2 garlic bulbs, halved
  • 1C pitted black olives (I prefer kalamata or greek), rinsed
  • 1/4 c capers, drained
  • 1 C red wine

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400º.
  2. Rinse chicken and pat dry, then place in roasting pan.
  3. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Place halved lemons and two stalks of rosemary in the cavity of the chicken and truss the legs.
  5. Roast in oven for 35 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from the oven and set aside the foil.
  7. Add remaining rosemary, garlic bulbs, tomatoes (on the vine), olives and capers around the chicken. Pour in the wine, and return pan to oven for another 38 minutes (or until juices run clear as ovens vary).
  8. Prior to carving, remove lemons and rosemary from chicken cavity and discard. Also discard rosemary and tomato vines from the cooking juices.
  9. Tip chicken to allow any juices in cavity to drain (you want every last bit and no mess when carving). Place chicken on carving board and remove garlic bulbs and set aside.
  10. Reserve the juices, tomatoes, capers and olives in a small serving bowl along with roasted garlic cloves squeezed from the bulbs; serve alongside of slices of roasted chicken.
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Comments

  1. I’ve never thought to add tomatoes with my roasted chicken. Looks so delicious! And easy clean up too! #client

  2. I’ve never roasted a chicken before and I will never ever roast a turkey again… so it looks like I will be roasting chicken for Thanksgiving 😉 It’s going to be another Turkeyless Thanksgiving this year! Thanks for the inspiration! Going to pin this!

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