Ladies, I am sure you have heard of the famed engagement chicken, the magic bird that gets your man to seal the deal. Maybe you’ve made the chicken, and maybe it worked. Gentlemen, if you have not heard or seen the chicken before, beware: when a roast lemon chicken is on your dinner menu, it is possible that your girlfriend is trying to tell you something. Especially if said chicken makes an appearance around key dates, such as anniversary, Valentine’s Day, right before you are set to go on vacation someplace romantic…
In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve never made the engagement chicken for my now husband, although I’ve made him plenty of chicken over the four years we’ve dated before he proposed. I’ve made roast chicken and fried chicken, and braised chicken, and chicken cutlets, meatballs, you name it. The general consensus among our friends and family is that he is very well fed, bordering on gastronomically spoiled. However varied his diet may be, he seems to like chicken, and there are few simpler and more delicious way to have chicken than roast it.
So here is a recipe for my roast chicken. It’s a chicken without second thoughts or hidden meanings, just a simple, easy, and delicious dinner. After all, once you have a man, it falls on your shoulders to keep him fed, and to reinforce the through the stomach and to the heart connection.
1 chicken, depending on the number of people you are planning to feed or how many leftovers you wish to have. A 3-4-lb bird feeds 2 with at least enough leftovers for lunch the next day.
1 bunch of fresh thyme
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil to minimize clean-up afterwards. Remove giblets from the chicken cavity, pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper all over, including the inside of the cavity. Insert thyme (you don’t have to tie it) inside the chicken. Cut the lemons in quarters, squeeze over the chicken and place into the cavity, pushing the lemons inside.
Place the chicken into the preheated oven for about an hour or until juices run clear when pricked with a fork. If the bird begins to brown too much, lower the temperature to 350F and tent the breast with foil. Resist the urge to dig into the bird immediately, and let it rest (tent with foil if you are worried that it will get too cold) for about 10 minutes.
Carve the chicken on a cutting board, ideally one with a groove around the edges to catch any juices. I like this cutting board, which has the added benefit of being plastic, which won’t absorb any meat juices like a wooden board may.
Serve with your favorite side. Pictured is Israeli couscous with peas.