Recipe by Scoutie
This is so very moist and delicious! If you can find an organic chicken ( and can afford it nowadays), it will be juicier than one that's conventionally raised. (better for you too.) In this recipe, the chicken is butterflied for quicker cooking. I add pieces of the lemon that I squeeze the lemon juice from around the chicken for even more flavor. If you can't find the juniper berries in your neck of the woods, use a few teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, it still makes a wonderful roast chicken. Depending on your oven, this may take less then 90 minutes, check after 70 minutes. Other herbs can be used in place of the rosemary, such as thyme or sage. This is actually better if you prepare it ahead of time before roasting and let it set in the fridge. This is adapted from a Deborah Madison recipe from Bon Appetit, Feb. 2008. Hope you enjoy as much as we do!
Top Review by Sydney Mike
Although most chicken dishes in my kitchen are made with breasts, for this recipe I did use a 5 1/2 pound roasting chicken, & with your rosemary-&-garlic paste, it was wonderfully satisfying! With just the 2 of us there was enough left over for another meal & a lunch for one, so . . . AND, I'm looking to make this again for company! Definitely a keeper of a recipe! [Made & reviewed while in Greece with ZWT6]
- 1⁄4 cup loosely packed fresh rosemary leaf, finely chopped
- 5 juniper berries
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 3⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt or 3⁄4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 (4 -6 lb) roasting chickens, 4-6 pounds, butterflied, backbone and neck removed (can reserve for homemade chicken stock )
- 3 -4 whole fresh rosemary sprigs
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Directions See How It's Made
- Combine chopped rosemary and next 4 ingredients in mortar and crush with pestle or blend in mini processor until coarse paste forms. Mix in oil and lemon juice.
- Rinse chicken; pat dry. Rub 1 teaspoon herb mixture over bone side of chicken. Turn chicken over and open like a book; place chicken, skin side up, on work surface. Carefully loosen skin from breast and thigh meat; rub herb mixture under skin. Rub any remaining herb mixture on outside of chicken. If you don't have enough herb mixture, make sure to rub some oil and lemon to cover the outside of the chicken.
- Place rosemary sprigs in 13x9x2-inch ceramic or glass baking dish. Place chicken, skin side up, on top of rosemary sprigs in dish.
- DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before roasting.
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F.
- Roast chicken uncovered until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 170°F, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer chicken to platter, let rest for at least 10 minutes, then serve.