You guys are really in for a treat. In the spirit of generosity, I decided to share one of my mom’s recipes with you. I’m all about sharing the love these days and you are all about to benefit in a big way. This lemon chicken is amazingly easy to make and the taste, well, let’s just say that I could make it every single week for an entire year and the Irishman wouldn’t tire of it.
Ok, let’s get down to business. Here are the cast of characters: A whole chicken, a 5 lb. bag of potatoes, 2 large lemons, 2 onions, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Yup, that’s it.
(Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.) First, we’re going to peel and wash the potatoes. Since the Irishman is indeed Irish, I always go ahead and peel the entire bag. Potatoes are a hot item in this household.
Then, we’re going to cut the potatoes into slightly larger than bite sized pieces. You want to make sure that they’re roughly the same size so that they cook evenly. I just throw them directly into my roasting pan as I chop ’em up.
Speaking of which, I’d like to draw your attention to my roasting pan. My mom received it as a wedding present in 1973 and it got passed onto me a couple of years ago. I love cooking with this pan because it’s been so thoroughly used and so well loved. I like how it looks slightly beaten up and while I could probably scour it back into pristine shape, I kind of like it just as it is.
Moving right along, dice up your onions and throw them right on top of the potatoes.
Now, we’re going to add a healthy amount of olive oil (remember, we have 5 lbs. of potatoes in there). I’d say about a quarter cup is good here. Just drizzle it right on top of the potatoes. This is also when we’re going to add our salt, pepper, oregano and lemon. Squeeze one and a half of your lemons directly onto the potatoes and add about 1 tablespoon each of salt, pepper and oregano.
Now, take a large spoon (or use your hands if you feel like walking on the wild side) and mix it all around so the potatoes are all coated nicely.
You still with me? Good. Now, take you chicken out of the bag and rinse it. My organic chicken didn’t come with all of extra parts in the body cavity, but you’ll want to check the inside of your chicken to make sure that there isn’t a plastic bag shoved in there. Here’s where I get lazy. Technically, my mom cuts the chicken into 2-4 pieces. Now, I personally hate manhandling raw chicken, so I just make sure that I have a small one and I just lay it on there whole (breast side down). I’m such a rebel…ok, ok, or just lazy.
Once your chicken is resting comfortably on it’s bed of potatoes, go ahead an drizzle a little olive oil, the rest of the lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt, pepper and oregano over the top of it.
One of my mom’s secrets is that she puts an entire peeled onion and several pieces of lemon rind inside of the body cavity. I hate to do this to you Mrs. Chicken. You’ve obviously suffered enough indignity in your life, but mom says that it’s the only way to go, so I hope you’ll forgive me.
Ok, the prep is done. In all honestly, the entire process took me about 15 minutes. Seriously, you can totally make this! Now, put the roasting pan in the over (remember to remove the top rack so that it fits) and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. After 60 minutes, flip the bird over with tongs and bake for another 45 minutes. You know it’s done when you poke it with a fork and the juices run clear.
Mmmm, can you smell that? Ok, you can’t yet, but just wait until you make this wholesome dish. It smells like my mom’s kichen and nothing in this world can bring back sweeter memories than that. Oh and this could probably feed a family of four, but in my house, this will last two meals (and I don’t even eat meat!). Enjoy!