Thursday, January 13, 2011

Flying Solo: Lemon Chicken with Croutons

I have made a roasted chicken before, but that was by my mother's side. I was so freaked out that I didn't even pick it up- let alone clean and stuff it.

However, I really wanted to use my new cookbook, Barefoot in Paris and I had found a good recipe I needed to try.  So last night I did the unthinkable and faced my fears. Not only did I pick up the chicken, I stuck my hand inside of it, took out the ACTUAL giblets, and stuffed it. 

Yes,giblets usually come in little bags so you don't have to actually touch them anymore. However, I had to resort to old school, when some of the giblets fell out of the bag and into the sink as well as slipped back down into the bird.  

I closed my eyes, psyched out a couple time as well as screamed during these multiple attempts to retrieve the loose giblets. Luckily no neighbors were bothered in the process. After the "ews", "breathe mags" and"omg, omg, omg", I survived and tossed the giblets into the trash and washed my hands A LOT. 

I texted my mom, "Seriously, I died a little inside." Mom texted back, "Well the chicken died too."
"Tim and I having some kitchen fun" 

After the giblet incident, everything else ran smoothly. I even had a little bit of fun and named my bird, "Tim". I cleaned, seasoned the bird with kosher salt and pepper, and stuffed it with lemons. Then I proceeded to put "Tim" in the oven for the next hour and twenty minutes while I worked on some homework.

The homemade croutons were the best part. Especially when they were soaked in the gravy-like sauce that was produced as the chicken cooked. Start the croutons, as soon as you pull the bird out of the oven and cover it with the foil. 

Note: The recipe calls for a 5 to 6 lb chicken, which is way too much for just myself. So I was lucky and found a 3 lb chicken on sale at the grocery store this week. Even now, I have a TON of leftovers (not that I can complain). Also, cut the ingredients in half for a smaller chicken. I only used a tablespoon of butter and one lemon was plenty! 

Be very careful with raw chicken. Constantly wash your hands, work surface, knives, or anything else that touches the chicken. 

Lemon Chicken with Croutons


  • 1 (4 to 5-pound) roasting chicken
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 cups (3/4-inch) bread cubes (1 baguette or round boule)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Take the giblets out of the chicken and wash it inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers. Toss the onion with a little olive oil in a small roasting pan. Place the chicken on top and sprinkle the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper. 
  3. Place the lemons inside the chicken. Pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels, brush it with the melted butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.
  4. Roast for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Cover with foil and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. (The onions may burn, but the flavor is good.)
  5. Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until very hot. Lower the heat to medium-low and saute the bread cubes, tossing frequently, until nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add more olive oil, as needed, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. 
  6. Place the croutons on a serving platter. Slice the chicken and place it, plus all the pan juices, over the croutons. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm

Bon Appetite! 
Chef Maggie


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