This is a very simple recipe. Although I love to cook, the reality is that my life doesn't often allow me to cook ingredient-complex meals. So, I try to come up with recipes that are good, healthy but also fairly easy to make. This recipe is exactly that. It is protein rich, has some healthy fats and requires very little prep (or culinary skills). Although it takes a bit of time to cook, it is absolutely worth it. The nice thing about this recipe is that whilst you wait for the chicken to cook, you can focus on other things. You can make some side dishes, catch up with the family or simply just kick back relax and have a glass of wine. This chicken will give you one meal for 2 people, with chicken leftover for the following day. The leftover bones from this recipe can be the key ingredient to a great low-sodium chicken broth.The extra chicken makes a great chicken sandwich the next day or can be cut up into chunks as protein to add to a nice salad.
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Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 90 Minutes
Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon of onion powder
3/4 teaspoon of sea salt
2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
3 sprigs of rosemary
2 whole lemons
3lb (1.45kg) chicken
|NUTRITION FACTS (per serving)|
|Total Fat 15.2g|
|Total Carbohydrate 3.5g|
|Dietary Fiber 1g|
Preheat oven 220 degrees Celsius (420 Fahrenheit).
Cut up lemons into quarters (each lemon is cut up into 4 pieces). 2 quarters you will further cut into thin slices (the thinner the better).
Rinse 3 sprigs of rosemary and cut them into small pieces about 1 inch long.
Combine olive oil, onion powder, salt and black pepper together to make a spiced olive oil mixture.
Smear HALF of the spiced oil mixture all over the chicken, making sure she is nice and coated from top to bottom.
Gently lift the skin covering the breast meat (at the top of the chicken) to give her pockets between the skin and meat. Avoid ripping the skin if possible, as this keeps the juices in during cooking.
In each breast pocket, you will insert around 3 lemon slices, 2 sprigs of rosemary & a small amount of the spiced oil mixture.
At this point, if you have not inserted the chicken into a baking dish (or roasting pan) get her in there! The next step is more messy.
Insert all the remaining lemons into the cavity of the chicken, along with the remaining spiced olive oil mixture. Add all BUT 2 remaining sprigs of rosemary to the inside of the chicken.
The extra 2 sprigs you can tuck into a chicken leg. Any loose rosemary blades you can sprinkle around the chicken.
Once your chicky is all dressed up nice, send her off to the ball (the oven) which is now toasty & warm at 220 degrees Celsius. Be careful to leave a few inches between the top of the chicken and any upper burner, otherwise, the skin may crisp too much and the breast meat will go dry.
Set the timer for 60 minutes.
Once 60 minutes have passed, the chicken will start to have a nice brown crisp to it, which means those delicious juices are trapped.
Turn down the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and set the timer for another 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, the chicken should be fully cooked and the chicken temperature at around 180 degrees (use a meat thermometre).
Take the chicken out of the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
Ensure to remove all lemons, they will have become quite bitter from the oven. Also, all rosemary sprigs.
Due to the citrusy taste of this chicken, it pairs very nicely with a lot of different side dishes.
I like to serve my chicken with some garlicky green beans or steamed asparagus with parmesan, a nice greek or caesar salad and sometimes even just some plain brown rice.
The chicken meat can also be saved to make a nice sandwich, homemade soup or you can cut up the meat into chunks and throw it in a salad, as some protein.
The whiter the meat, the less fat content. So, if you are trying to reduce your fat intake, focus on the white meat and eater a smaller portion of the dark meat, like the legs, wings or meat from the underside of the chicken.
Once you've cleaned your chicky, don't throw her away! Her bones will make a beautiful chicken broth that you can use for homemade soups or recipes. See my recipe for Roasted Chicken Broth (low sodium).