As our long Indian Summer segues into Autumn temperatures are finally slowly and hopefully beginning to drop. We’re growing weary of our stir fries, barbecues and salads and looking forward to more substantial comforting fare. Long slow simmered pasta sauces, soups, braises and roasts. It seems like an age since we’ve enjoyed them. New season lemons are beginning to make an appearance at the market. A sure sign that Autumn is on its way. Bright and fragrant they are surely and slowly replacing a summer of sharp tangy limes.
When the seasons are in flux and I simply don’t know what to cook for dinner I inevitably turn to this simple little Pot Roasted Lemon Chicken dish for inspiration. Scented with all of my family’s favourite flavours – lemon, garlic, chilli and rosemary. It’s the perfect seasonal crossover meal. A one pot wonder. Beautifully succulent roast chicken with a gorgeously fragrant lemon twist.
Pot Roasted Lemon Chicken With Rosemary And Chilli
2 x 1.2 kg whole roasting chickens
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium onions, sliced thinly into half-moons
3 garlic cloves
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chilli flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
PREHEAT oven to 180 C. Wipe chicken inside and out and then season well, both inside and out with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
PLACE a large heavy oven proof le creuset style pot or similar onto the stove. The pot should be just wide enough to hold both chickens.
HEAT the butter and olive oil together over a medium flame and when the mixture starts to sizzle place the chickens into the pot breast side down. Fry until the skin is crisp and golden brown. Turn the birds over and fry until they are nicely browned all over. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
ADD the onions and garlic to the pot; turn down the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and transparent. About 5 minutes.
MEANWHILE zest and juice two lemons and thinly slice the third lemon, removing any pips.
RETURN the chickens to the pot. Sprinkle over the chilli flakes and lemon zest. Pour over the lemon juice and stock.
ARRANGE the thinly sliced lemon and rosemary sprigs over the chicken. Cover with a lid and then roast in the heated oven for half an hour.
REMOVE the pot from the oven and baste the chickens with the pan juices. Place back into the oven uncovered and roast for another half an hour, or until the chicken is cooked and skin crisp and golden. The leg joint juices should run clear when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven onto a platter. Loosely cover with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
STRAIN the pan juices into a small saucepan, bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Skim any fat off the top of the sauce and season to taste. Serve drizzled over the chickens and a side of creamy mashed potatoes.