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Cook1 hr 30 mins
We got some lovely fennel and yellow beats at the farmer's market and I wanted to roast it up with a large Cornish hen we had. This is the result, and has been so far the best roast chicken/Cornish hen I've made. Feel free to use a chicken instead, or a larger bird, though you should probably scale the ingredients to accommodate. Oven time will be longer too. You can purchase the dried lemon or sumac powder from sadaf.com.
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon rosemary or 1 tablespoon herbes de provence
- 1 lemon
- 2 fennel (sliced, tops reserved)
- 1 onion (cut into wedges)
- 1 beet (sliced)
- 1 tablespoon dried lemon peel, powder (optional) or 1 tablespoon sumac (optional)
- 1 (3 lb) chicken
- Wash and thoroughly dry chicken, especially the skin.
- Separate skin of chicken from breast and leg meat as best you can without breaking the skin.
- Rub butter and herbs de provence under the skin and into the meat of the bird.
- Squeeze lemon into the cavity of the chicken and sprinkle with some of the salt and pepper.
- Stuff chicken with the onion, fennel tops (reserve the green leafy bits for a garnish) and the lemon halves.
- Sprinkle remaining salt, pepper and lemon powder or sumac if using on the outside of the bird.
- If desired let bird marinate in fridge for a few hours to overnight. I usually let it sit while slicking beets and fennel, and preheating oven to 350.
- Arrange the sliced beets and slices of fennel in the bottom of a 8" x 11" baking dish.
- Place bird in oven and cook for 1-1.5 hours.
- Check for crisp golden skin and the meat to be cooked through before serving.
- You may want to baste while cooking, though this will keep the skin from crisping. I find the juices from the lemon and veggies keep the bird moist during cooking though as long as it's not over done.