Shallots roast alongside the chicken; then they're pureed and browned with lemony pan juices to make a fragrant gravy.
Notes: Salting the chicken hours ahead instead of just before cooking makes the meat more flavorful. For crisper skin, don't truss the legs before roasting.
1 4- to 5-lb. chicken
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 medium Meyer or regular (Eureka) lemons
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 pound shallots
1/2 to 3/4 cup reduced-sodium or homemade chicken broth
1/3 cup dry white wine
How to Make It
Rinse chicken inside and out; pat dry with paper towels. Loosen skin of breast and thighs and work some salt under skin. Rub remaining salt all over chicken and in cavity (see Notes). Chill, uncovered, at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 375°. Zest lemons. Slice 1 lemon; juice half of the other.
Pat chicken dry, inside and out. Rub zest under as much of the skin as possible and rub any remaining zest inside cavity. Rub chicken all over with 1 tbsp. olive oil and the thyme. Put lemon slices in cavity.
Set a V-shaped rack in a heavy roasting pan large enough to hold shallots. Put chicken in rack, breast side up. Add shallots to pan and drizzle with remaining 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil, turning them to coat.
Roast chicken, basting every 30 minutes or so, until chicken leg moves easily and skin is brown and crisp, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours (remove shallots after 1 hour and set aside). Tip chicken so juices from cavity pour into roasting pan. Transfer chicken to a carving board and let rest, covered with foil.
Meanwhile, make sauce: Pour pan drippings into a measuring cup with a pouring lip. Trim tops from shallots and squeeze soft insides into a blender. Pour off all but about 1 tbsp. fat from pan drippings and add drippings to blender. Add 1/2 cup broth and the wine and pulse until smooth.
Pour sauce into roasting pan. Cook, scraping up brown bits and adding more broth if you want a thinner sauce, over medium-high heat on your biggest burner (or straddling 2 burners) until sauce turns a nutty brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tbsp. reserved Meyer lemon juice, or more to taste. Pour sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into a serving bowl. Carve chicken, discarding lemon slices; serve with sauce.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving with 2 tbsp. gravy.
when i made this, the chicken came out fine, but the sauce did not. I cooked the shallots with the chicken for an hour, took them and out and blended them with the stock and the wine. the outcome looked like watery mashed potatoes. When i tried heating this mixture in a saucepan, it just started boiling and reduced down even more to a thicker paste, and it never turned darker brown, rather it stayed sort of cream colored, and the texture of the substance definitely could not fit through a fine strainer. Did i do something wrong?
This tastes absolutely amazing !
I made a few modifications though (can't help it, I'm a tinker-er with recipes). I didn't want to open a whole container of chicken stock just for 1/2 cup so I added some water, celery flakes and a bay leaf to the pan and made my own. I also added one garlic clove along with the shallots. (Now there's something to baste with too!) I skimmed off the fat, removed the bay leaf, and put it all in the blender. I added about a tbsp of (real) butter to the pan with the stock to cook it off. (Yah, yah, I know, it's Cooking Light but everything's a little bit better with butter). Served with steamed green beans.
Lots of left over meat after picking the chicken.
The sauce was amazing. I did a little over a pound of shallots (love that you don't have to peel them). I did 3/4c. chicken broth and the juice of a whole small lemon, probably 1.5 TBSP. I made orzo pasta and shredded the cooked chicken over the pasta and used the sauce as a pasta sauce. The sauce was so amazing it seemed a shame to not use it all.
I came across this recipe while searching for just about anything that used meyer lemons. I had been given a sackful by a friend and was anxious to use them up. I was cautious since I had never roasted a chicken before but found this recipe to be really easy to prepare. I didn't alter a thing in it except I used a smaller chicken (it was organic). I served it with maple glazed baby carrots, roasted brocollini with garlic and rolls. It felt very Thanksgiving-ey :) Definitely will make again!
The sauce for this chicken is amazing! I was out of white wine so I just doubled the chicken broth--can't imagine how fabulous it must be with the wine! I also put halved red potatoes into the roasting pan with about 1 hour left and they tasted great with the chicken & gravy.
The chicken was very moist and delicious and enjoyed by all. I would make this dish again, but I think it is much more work than I would ordinarily do for an evening meal.
I didn't make any changes or substitutions, although I did do a portion of the meal with different equipment. I did not use an actual roasting pan, but a glass dish. I didn't have a baster, so I half-heartedly spoon-basted, but it probably didn't even need that, it was so moist.
I served the chicken with fruit (cantaloupe & pineapple), and roasted potatoes.
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