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This is Ina’s “Jeffrey’s Roasted Chicken”  from her How Easy is That? cookbook. If I were to name it, I’d call it “The easiest damn chicken you’re not roasting because you think roasting a chicken is too hard and maybe a little gross”.

I was the same way. I love roasted chicken. I just didn’t want to fuss with it myself. All those chicken insides, and how do you make the skin crispy and do you roast the veggies with it (I love roasted veggies but something about putting them in with a raw chicken creeps me out). My previous attempts to roast a chicken were consistently . . . mediocre.

I’ve tried this one several times and I’ve tweaked it to what I think is perfection. The skin is crisp, the meat is juicy and flavorful and the sauce is amazing. The recipe below is more or less the way it is in the book, I’ve just changed the directions a little. If you want the original, I’m going to suggest you buy the book, not google the recipe. It’s a really good cookbook and includes Easy Peasy Risotto, which is about the best thing I’ve ever made in my own kitchen.

I apologize for not having pictures of the sauce. But once that chicken came out of the oven we rushed to the dinner table and gobbled everything up before it even occurred to me to take a picture.

Jeffrey’s Roast Chicken

  • 1 (4-5 lbs) roasting chicken (I’ve used organic and regular antibiotic fed chicken and to be honest, if you can afford it, get the organic)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 whole head of garlic, cut in half crosswise
  • olive oil
  • 2 spanish onions, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • optional herbs: thyme, rosemary, sage, whatever you like on poultry.
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. If you desire, line the bottom of an 11×14 roasting pan with foil (don’t use anything bigger or the onions will burn). Peel both lemons. Cut one lemon into quarters. Wash and dry your chicken and place it in the roasting pan.
  3. Salt and pepper your chicken cavity. Place 2-4 lemon quarters in the chicken along with both halves of the garlic head. You can place herbs in the cavity as well. Tie the legs together, tuck the wings under.
  4. Gently loosen the skin over the breasts and rub a little oil, salt, pepper and any other herbs under the skin. Then oil the outside of the chicken and salt and pepper the skin liberally.
  5. Place  the onions, lemon peels, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Add the juice of at least half a lemon. Toss and place in roasting pan around chicken. Reserve any lemons you have left for later.
  6. Roast the chicken for 1 hour 15 minutes (check the chicken after 10-15 minutes, you’ll probably need to cover the whole thing or at least the onions with foil to keep them from burning up). Roast until juices between leg and thigh run clear, or use a meat thermometer. Remove chicken from roasting pan, cover and let rest.
  7. To make the sauce: place wine and chicken stock in a skillet or saucepan, add the onions and any juice from the roasting pan (if you have brown bits, scrape ’em up). Bring to a simmer, add flour and continue to cook/stir until sauce is thickened. Flavor with lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Carve chicken and serve on platter either with sauce poured over, or on the side.
  9. NOTE 1: Do not under any circumstance, place the quartered lemon in with the onions and roast them. This is what the recipe says to do and frankly all that pith ruins the sauce with its bitterness.
  10. NOTE 2: I usually remove the lemon peel from the sauce while it’s simmering. I also remove any onions that have gotten burned. You can always strain the sauce of the onions right before you serve, but they are very tender and sweet. I go pretty unglamorous and just take the skillet right to the table and let people dish their own sauce right out of the skillet. Plus it stays warmer longer. But if you’re fancy, you do it your way

    Take off the lemon peel for all of the flavor, none of the bitterness.

    1 hour and 15 minutes to deliciousness. In the mean time, might as well open the bottle of wine you're going to use for the sauce and taste it. Just to make sure it's drinkable. Better have more than one glass, just to make sure.

    Oh HELLO beautiful.