The fragrance of rosemary and lemons, backed by hints of onion and garlic is such an inviting combination, sure to draw even the most reluctant diner down from their room for Sunday supper. Serving this roast chicken with a vinaigrette in place of gravy makes this a seasonless supper. Only a few spoonfuls of sauce are required for a burst of flavor.
From “Michael & Anna Olson Cook at Home”, Whitecap Books, 2005
Photo by Michael Olson
For the chicken, preheat the oven to 350 F. Arrange half of the onion slices, lemon slices and 3 cloves of garlic in a roasting pan that is just a few inches larger than the chicken. Place the chicken on top of the onions and fill cavity with remaining onion, lemon and garlic. Insert the rosemary sprigs into cavity. Baste the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Cover the pan and roast for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and baste chicken with juices from the bottom of the pan, then continue roasting until an internal temperature of 175 F is reached, about 1 ½ hours and basting 3 or 4 times during roasting. Remove the pan from oven, place the chicken on a cutting board, cover and let stand for 10 minutes before carving.
While the roasted chicken is resting, prepare the vinaigrette. Strain the onion, lemon and garlic from the bottom of the pan, saving the juices to return to the pan (discard the vegetables). Place the pan over medium heat and add the lemon juice, stirring to pull up any caramelized bits. Stir in the Dijon mustard and rosemary and remove from heat. Whisk in the olive oil slowly and season to taste.
To serve, carve chicken and spoon vinaigrette over chicken.