As you probably know by now, F and I love buying and roasting a whole chicken ourselves. It’s cheaper than buying chicken pieces and creates lots of leftovers — we also often make stock from the carcass. Our favorite time to do this is for Sunday dinner, since we’re usually home on Sunday afternoons and thus have time to keep an eye on the chicken in the oven.
This bird is rubbed with fresh rosemary, garlic, and lemon zest before being roasted to a perfect golden-brown. (You don’t have to use a whole chicken; feel free to rub the rosemary mix on a couple of chicken breasts or thighs — you’ll have dinner on the table a lot faster.) Mushrooms are sautéed with fresh thyme and reduced in white wine — a perfect accompaniment to the chicken. Just add rice or your preferred carbohydrate. The chicken and mushroom recipes are both below; I’ll let you figure out the rice for yourself!
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Rosemary, Garlic & Lemon-Crusted Chicken (inspired by Martha Rose Shulman)
- 1 whole chicken (ours was 2.6kg)
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh rosemary
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 4-6 garlic cloves
- 2 lemons
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry, then place it in a large baking dish.
- Put the rosemary, lemon zest, peppercorns, and garlic cloves in a food processor and blend until everything is chopped small and almost paste-like.
- Rub olive oil and then the spice mix all over the chicken. Juice both the lemons over the chicken and stick the lemon halves inside the bird.
- Roast the chicken for about 2.5 hours in the oven, basting periodically and covering if necessary.
White Wine Mushrooms (adapted from Martha Rose Shulman; serves 2-4)
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2kg (1lb) button/field mushrooms, sliced
- 1-2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
- 1/2 – 1 cup dry white wine
- to taste: salt & pepper
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the mushrooms to the skillet and let them sear for 30-60 seconds, then stir.
- As the mushrooms start to soften, add the thyme, wine, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the wine evaporates and the mushrooms are tender.