ROASTED CHICKEN WITH GARLIC, LEMON & PARSLEY


Yield: 4-6 servings

Marinade

1 bunch Italian parsley (save 12-14 leaves for garnish)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
3 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon dried Herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
Zest of 1 lemon
2 Tablespoons cracked black pepper
6 Tablespoons olive oil

For the Chicken

2 chickens, 3 pounds each
2 russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters the long way
1 large Spanish onion, skin on the root trimmed, cut into quarters through the root
3 teaspoons cooking oil
4 ounces rich chicken stock
1 head roasted garlic, cloves separated
1 lemon, 1/2 cut into slices 1/2 juiced
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients for the marinade except the lemon zest in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth. Fold in the lemon zest.

Wash and dry the chickens. Rub them all over with the marinade, cover and let them sit in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Season the chickens with salt and pepper and place them in a roasting pan fitted with a rack. Place in oven. Place a cookie sheet with sides in the oven and allow it to become hot. Add the cooking oil to the pan and carefully lay the potatoes and onions on to the sheet, cut sides down. Season with salt and pepper and roast. The chickens and the vegetables should take 1 hour and 10 minutes to cook. The vegetables are done when they are very tender and brown. The chicken is done when the leg bone separates easily from the thigh when twisted or a thermometer registers 165°F. When cooked, transfer the chickens to another pan and let them rest for at least twenty minutes. Skim the juices of fat and reserve the juices from the roasting pan.

When the vegetables are done, remove the dry outer leaves of the onion and discard. Transfer the onions and potatoes to an oven-proof pan and keep warm. Remove the breasts and legs from the bone, leaving on as much skin as possible. Remove the thigh bones by gently twisting and breaking the cartilage at the joint.

Note: The dish can be prepared to this point an hour in advance of serving.

Preheat the broth. Arrange the chicken pieces, skin side up, in a roasting pan shallow enough to fit underneath the broiler. Add the lemon slices, the cooking juices and 2 ounces of the double chicken stock. Set the pan under the broiler and cook until the skin is crisp and the meat has thoroughly heated through. This will take about 8-10 minutes. If necessary, rotate the chicken pieces so they crisp evenly.

While the chickens are getting crisp, over moderate heat, reduce the remaining 3 ounces of double chicken stock with the juice of 1/2 lemon and the garlic cloves in a small sauce pan.

Arrange the chicken, potatoes and onions on a serving platter or on individual plates. Pour the sauce from the roasting pan into the saucepan with the reducing chicken stock and continue reducing by about half. The sauce should be slightly thickened and lemony in taste. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the sauce and stir until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce around the chicken and garnish with the parsley leaves.


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