Roast chicken with herbs on lemon slices
Serves 4 with leftovers
2 lemons, very thinly sliced, seeds removed
1 large (4 pounds) roasting chicken
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, oregano)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. In a baking dish just large enough to hold the chicken snugly, lay the lemon slices without overlapping.
2. Remove the giblets from the chicken and clean the cavity. Snip off any pockets of fat from the vent end of the bird. With kitchen shears, cut up either side of the backbone. Save the backbone, neck, and gizzard for making soup. With your hands, bend back the two cut sides (where the backbone was) until the chicken is flat. Set it skin side up on a cutting board.
3. In a bowl, stir together the mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Starting at the breast end of the bird, slide your fingers under the skin into the air pocket between the skin and flesh. Slip some of the mustard mixture over the breast on both sides. Then slide your hand at the opening near the thigh. Add some mustard mixture to the thighs on both sides.
3. Set the bird flat, skin side up, on the lemons in the baking dish. Spread the remaining mustard mixture on the skin and tuck the legs up so the bird is compact.
4. Roast the chicken for 55 to 60 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes.
5. Cut the chicken up the center to make 2 halves. Cut each half into quarters so you have 2 whole legs and 2 breasts. Separate the drumsticks from thighs to make 4 leg pieces. Cut a large horizontal piece off the breast to make 4 breast pieces. Save 1 breast piece, 1 leg piece, and 3 lemon slices for the soup.
6. Serve the chicken with the lemons and steamed or roast potatoes. Save 1/4 cup of cooking juices for the soup. Sheryl Julian