Roast Chicken with Meyer Lemon

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This recipe is a lemony twist on this delicious method from the NY Times.  The sweet, juicy wedges of Meyer lemon make the dish succulent, and the dry-brining method makes it tender.  With all the extra bulk of the moist lemons inside, you'll need to allow at least 30 minutes per pound of chicken for the roasting time.  I recommend rotating the chicken halfway through to ensure it bakes evenly, if you're using a steel baking pan with a roasting rack like the recipe below calls for.  Makes delicious leftovers as well!

Cooking Time (excluding prep): 30 minutes per pound of bird, or about 1 1/2 to 2 hours
Cooking Temperature: 450° F
Serves: 4

Assemble the following equipment/ingredients:

  • Roasting pan with rack (I use this stainless steel one from Cuisinart
  • Cutting board & knife
  • Small bowl
  • Cooking twine to truss chicken, as needed
     
  • 3 to 3 1/2-pound free-range chicken, skin on
  • 2-3 tsp. fine-ground Celtic sea salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Meyer lemon, washed and cut into wedges, seeds removed
  • Sprigs of fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme, washed

Putting It All Together:

  1. Grind pepper into a small bowl, and mix in the salt.  Place the chicken breast-side up on a rack in the roasting pan.  Remove
    the giblets, if they come with the chicken.  If the chicken doesn't come trussed, you can do it yourself with cooking twine.
  2. Rub the salt and pepper mixture all over the outside of the chicken.  The salt can make your skin burn (especially if you have any cuts!) so use gloves if you want to avoid that.  Very carefully rub some of the brine mixture inside the cavity of the chicken as well--there can be sharp bits of bone sticking out inside, so don't cut yourself!
  3. Carefully stuff lemon wedges and fresh herbs into the cavity.  You can fit quite a bit into the chicken depending on the size, so be generous here!  The more the merrier when it comes to herbs.  Place the pan in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 3-4 hours (be sure to roast it up within 8 hours or so--fresh chicken needs to be cooked or frozen fairly soon after purchasing it.)