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This is one of my favorite “go to” recipes.  I have used it for all sorts of occasions, and it has never let me down!  A citrus-y Sauvignon Blanc makes a nice wine pairing with this dish.

6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (note: I like to use the “everyday” olive oil from California Olive Ranch)
2-3 free-range, organic chickens, split into quarters
3 cloves garlic, peeled and split
Fresh English or lemon thyme
Coarse sea salt
6 lemons, cut in half
(Note: I prefer Meyer lemons for this recipe but other lemons will work, too.)

You will also need:
Large roasting pan
Basting Brush
Aluminum foil

Preheat oven to 425oF.

Spread 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of a large roasting pan and set aside.

Rub each piece of chicken with a piece of garlic and a sprig of fresh thyme. Brush with olive oil.  Salt and pepper liberally. Place cut side down in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Sprinkle paprika over each piece of chicken.

Rub each lemon half with olive oil. Place the lemons, cut side up,  around the chicken in the roasting pan. Place the remaining sprigs of thyme around the pan, reserving a few sprigs for garnish.

Roast for at least an hour at 425oF until the temperature of the dark meat reaches 180oF or until the leg moves freely in the socket. Remove from the oven and tent lightly with aluminum foil.  Allow the chicken to rest for about 15 minutes before carving or serving.

Serve each piece of chicken with a roasted lemon half. Garnish with thyme. Encourage diners to squeeze the juice onto the chicken.

Serves 8.

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