Now picture the most beautiful, succulent, juicy, perfectly browned roast chicken you've ever seen.
Got it? Great. Now hold onto that image because you'll need it later on in this post.
This is the chicken she brought us when we arrived home, jetlagged, from Switzerland two years ago. And the chicken she made for me when I was sick (I think. I can't remember 100% because I was in a fog for about 2 months after that). It's the chicken Amy makes THE. BEST. homemade chicken noodle soup with, too.
So yesterday I was able to pay it forward, so to speak--or maybe it's pay it backward, I don't know--and take a roast chicken to another friend who just had surgery. I love doing that kind of thing.
And while I was at it, I made one for us, too, because, you know, three people can eat a whole roast chicken in approximately 2 1/2 weeks so we should be able to finish it around Thanksgiving. (I say three because even though four people technically live in this house, five on breaks, these days it's usually only about three of us who end up eating together on any given night.)
You, my friends, are the beneficiaries of all this chicken-sharing. Aren't you happy? And to my friends who are newly married or have little kids running around, I would highly . . . HIGHLY . . . recommend putting this one in your repertoire of recipes. (What? You have no repertoire of recipes? Well you must get one and lickity split. Put this on the top of your list because it's so, SO easy.)
So here we go. It's Fab Food Friday and we're roasting a chicken.
Here's what you need--only five ingredients. Chicken (duh!), olive oil, garlic, thyme, and a lemon.
Wash and pat dry Mr. Chicken. Make sure you get the inside too. Then sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Inside too!
Take the lemon and zest it . . . . Zest it good. (Sorry, just a slight diversion back to the '80s.)
Then there's thyme. Oh yeah, I've got thyme. Lots and lots of thyme. (But for this recipe you really only need a couple of teaspoons.)
In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, the thyme leaves, and a couple of cloves of chopped garlic. Amy's original recipe calls for four cloves of garlic, but two is plenty. Trust me. Two.
Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix it all together.
Spread that all over the top and sides of the chicken, rubbing it all over the surface of the chicken.
Take the lemon that you've already zested and cut it into quarters. Stick the lemon pieces and a couple of sprigs of thyme inside the cavity of the chicken.
Place the chicken in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375 and bake for about an hour and fifteen minutes longer until the internal temperature is 180 degrees.
When your chicken is done it will be crispy on the outside, juicy in the middle. Mmmmmm.
Remember that mental image you had earlier in this post of a delicious, succulent, juicy roasted chicken? Well, bring that image back to mind now because I forgot to take a picture of the final product. Can you believe that? Oh, sure you can. Just imagine how beautiful it looked because it did. And it tasted even better.
Amy's Roast Chicken
3 Tablespoons minced fresh thyme or 3 teaspoons dried thyme
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 5-6 pound roasting chicken
1 lemon, quartered
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Rinse chicken, pat dry. Place chicken in roasting pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Rub the garlic/oil mixture over the surface of the chicken. Place lemon in cavity of chicken.
Roast chicken for 20 minutes at 450. Reduce oven temperature to 375 and continue roasting until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of inner thigh registers 180 degrees, about 1 hour 15 minutes (or you could us my method--when the little plastic thingy pops up). Let rest a few minutes before transferring to a serving platter.
Have a great weekend, everybody. Now get cooking!