Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken

Every now and then I like to have fun with the stars of the Food Network. So many of those shows, while totally entertaining, are just too perfectly positioned for parody, what with the full hair and make-up and tight, awkward story lines ("I'm making a gigantic pot roast today, but since it's just me here, I'm going to call my friend Dwyer and see if she might take this thing off my hands. Oh, it's ringing. Hi, Dwyer. I'm going to swing by with a pot roast, cool? OK, great. Bye!"). But during the peak of my fever state, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I lay down and watched Ina Garten make roast chicken and gravy and was earnestly inspired to do the same.
I know that roast chicken is one of those recipes that every home-cook should be well familiar with, but I'm not one of those home-cooks. The idea of purchasing, roasting, and eating a whole chicken always seems a little overwhelming to me. But my mom recently gifted me a beautiful, giant roasting pan, and well, it was two days before Thanksgiving. I knew I needed to roast something. Of course, I was late to the pre-ordering of turkey game, but I felt confident I could get some good quality chickens from Cookbook, the cutest grocery store on planet urf.

And so, that's exactly what I did. Or rather, that's exactly what Matt did. He picked up two three-pound chickens on his way home from work, and then, on the day of Thanksgiving, he took the reins on roasting them. (And then boiling the carcasses and making a delicious chicken broth.)
So, what exactly did I do? I made the gravy! Right in the roasting pan. It was pretty awesome. In fact, the whole thing was pretty awesome, which is why these two chickens beat out the savory bread pudding and the cranberry-maple jelly. And why these chickens written-out emoji score comes to a solid, straightforward: three hearts, one chicken, and one herb (gotta put one funny one in there or else why even have an emoji score?).
Which almost brings us to the end of this T-giving train. Which dish will reign supreme? Find out next time, on Bon Appétempt's Controversial, Strep-Throat-y Thanksgiving Wrap-up!

p.s. I'm finally on Instagram!

Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken via Ina Garten
1 (5 to 6-pound) roasting chicken (OR two, three-pound chickens)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme
4 lemons
3 heads garlic, cut in 1/2 crosswise
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 pound sliced bacon
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the thyme, reserving enough thyme to garnish the chicken dish, 1 lemon, halved, and 2 halves of the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Cut 2 of the lemons in quarters and scatter the quarters and remaining garlic around the chicken. Lay the bacon slices over the chicken to cover.

Roast the chicken for 1 hour. Remove the bacon slices from the top of the chicken and set aside. Continue roasting the chicken for an additional 1/2 hour, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove to a platter and cover with aluminum foil while you prepare the gravy.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the bottom of the pan. Add the wine and chicken stock and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, or until reduced by half.

Slice the chicken on a platter. Garnish the chicken platter with the bacon slices, roasted garlic, reserved thyme and 1 lemon, sliced. Serve with the gravy.
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Matthew said...

Oh man, about to jump on a call but feel the need to keep this "first comment" thing going... loved the chicken, but probably loved the stock I made afterward (and ultimately, the chicken noodle soup, even better!) xoxox

amelia said...

When "Matt's Top Picks" gets up and running, will you also be the first to comment there?!

Matthew said...


Ashley said...

I'm pretty darn sure the rest of planet urf loves your sense of humor and adventure as much as I do.
And I've never roasted a whole chicken either, despite every cookbook and magazine telling me it's an essential skill. I'll get to it one day...

ileana said...

This looks delicious. I want to go to LA just to visit Cookbook.

Little Kitchie said...

I watched that episode yesterday too! Haha! I always love Ina's theatrics. She's the best. Your roast chicken looks good enough for Jeffrey! ;)

Anonymous said...

The chickens look amazing. Very impressed with your making your own gravy. It's one Thanksgiving item I've never attempted. Congrats on a very successful strep throaty Thanksgiving.
Marsha and Mark

Katherine {eggton} said...

When you said Matt took the reins on preparing the chickens, I couldn't help but imagine Matt riding a gigantic chicken. Like, in a saddle, with reins.

Is this one of those comments I should have kept to myself? Probably.

Ouida said...

Did you roast them upside down? Well, breast side down, anyway.

Mary Anne said...

Finally I'm gonna make some money off that URL!

Mary Anne said...

DEEPEST DARKEST SECRET: I have never roasted a bird.

Shirley Maya Tan said...

It looks very good and you made it sound/look so effortless. I am sure it is anything but! I have never roasted any meat before! Just vegetables! Will have to work my way slowly to this recipe.

amelia said...

Good eye! It's totally breast side down. :)

Colleen said...

Roast chicken was one of the first things I learned to cook, perhaps that is why I have to work my way up to the more difficult things! If you share your gravy recipe I will share mine! Onion is wonderful when added to this recipe, just quarter it and stick it in with the lemons and garlic.

Loretta E. said...

Welcome to the land of roast chicken! Now you'll never turn back and will be making it when "there's nothing to eat." Plus, fresh chicken stock rocks.

Colleen said...

You are so right about the fresh chicken stock! I make it then put 2 cups into each ziplock bag and pop them in the freezer.

Megan Taylor said...

When it comes to chicken, Ina knows best! Clearly, so do you! Love this, xo

Rachel said...

Your chicken looks much much nicer than mine normally turn out :) I'm always worried about undercooking it so I tend to do the opposite, LOL.

Johanna said...

I tried (and blogged about) this recipe and was a little nervous about roasting at such a high heat all throughout, but it all worked out. I think I have better luck with whole cloves of garlic, though, as my halved garlic heads didn't cook very evenly, but other than that, it was great! So glad I discovered your blog, I love it!