We are mid way through Spring and I still have an abundance of lemons from our humble tree. I need to start preserving it soon before it all disappear another season. And they do make great Christmas gifts. I can’t believe how time flew this year. 2 more months to festive and crazy season. Can you believe that? I have so much that I still need to do this year. Please make time stop!
Anyway, back to the lemons. I had plenty of lemons. I had a chicken. I had leftover thyme and celery tops that I hate throwing out. This recipe requires an overnight marinate. The chicken will be drinking up the lemon juice and gets all perfumed by the celery, lemon and thyme. I just did whatever I thought will help with the flavour.
- 1 Size 18 chicken (1.6kg – 1.7kg) – Sorry but I forgot to weigh it
- 3 fresh lemons
- 1/2 bunch of celery tops (leaves)
- 1/2 bunch of fresh thyme
- 100g sugar
- 50ml water
- knobs of butter
- Salt & pepper to taste
I also roasted some vegetables to go with it. Love the colours.I added the remaining lemon syrup after coating it with the chicken into the mixture. Do not waste anything!
- Chop off some tops from the celery bunch. Snip off some thyme. Squeeze the lemon juice into the bag. Use a small sharp knife and make slits into the chicken thighs and breasts. Rub and massage the chicken with the remaining lemon. Place it into the bag, mix and massage. Refrigerate overnight
- Pre-heat oven to 220C. Prepare the tray with 4 thick slices of oranges
- Prep the lemon syrup for the chicken. Slice the lemons to thin slices (1 lemon). Place them into a saucepan with 100g of sugar and 50ml of water. Allow it to come to a slow bubble, turn down heat and stir still sugar is completely dissolve and thicken slightly. Set aside and allow it to cool
- Prepare the chicken. Use a kitchen scissors and open the chicken. Lay the chicken flat ono the flesh side down and crack the bones on each side. You will hear the cracking sound. Cut 4 more lemon slices and place them under the skin of the chicken. 2 on each side of the chicken
- Brush the whole chicken with the lemon syrup. Season with black pepper. Allow it to all soak and settle. Place the chicken sitting on top of the orange slices
- Place the tray in the oven at 220C for 10mins. Then lower it to 180C for another 40 – 45mins or until the skin is golden brown
- Cut into big pieces and serve on a platter with the roasted vegetables. Sprinkle some nice pink salt over the skin. Also season with more black pepper
The chicken was really moist. The acidity is not overpowering at all. I really like it. It is almost foolproof to dry roast chicken. And you can replace the lemons with oranges.
By the way, I found this lovely big plate from an Op Shop near work. Just a tiny chip but I love it’s vibrant colour. Very summery don’t you think?
Has time flown past you this year as well?