My dad’s roast chicken is really simple. He stuffs a whole chicken with fresh herbs and seasons it with salt and pepper, then pops it in the oven. My version, which uses chicken that’s already cut into serving pieces instead of a whole chicken, is less work and cooks a lot faster and more evenly. I’ve also spruced up the flavor with some grated lemon rind and finished it off with a fresh, colorful, and tangy oil for drizzling over the finished chicken. Dad, your chicken is good, but I may have one up on you with this one!
- One 3 1/2-pound chicken, precut into serving pieces
- Freshly ground pepper
- Olive oil
- 4-5 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
- Grated rind of 1/2 lemon
- ½ bunch flat Italian parsley
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 3 pinches of salt
- 10 grinds of pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Take a look at the chicken and trim off any excess skin or fat. Cut off and discard the wing tips if you like.
Place the chicken pieces on a 13 × 11-inch pan or any pan they will fit in without crowding.
Season the chicken pieces generously with salt, pepper, olive oil, fresh herbs, and the lemon rind.
Toss through all the seasonings and then arrange the chicken pieces skin side up in the pan. (You can do this up to a day before you cook them. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Remove from the refrigerator about ½ hour before cooking to allow meat to come to room temperature.)
Roast until the skin is nicely browned, there is no pink near the bone, and the juices run clear, about 35 to 40 minutes. Check both the white meat and dark meat. If the white meat is done before the dark meat, take it out and set it on a serving plate until the dark meat is done. Serve hot.
To make the parsley-lemon oil: Wash and dry the parsley. Remove the leaves from the stems and finely chop the leaves. Combine with the remaining ingredients and use immediately to garnish the roast chicken.
Nutrition info based on 1 tablespoon oil for seasoning chicken