Author Notes: Robust flavors of lemon and onion dominate this roast chicken. The combination of acids in the onion and lemon, along with the salt, help to tenderize the bird as they act as both a brine and a basting medium. - LE BEC FIN
- 1 3 1/2 pound chicken
- 1 large yellow onion, grated on large side of grater, like for cheddar cheese
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoon coarsely ground fresh black pepper
- 4 ounces unsalted butter,melted just before use so it doesn’t get thick
- Rinse chicken in cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. In a ceramic or glass baking dish slightly larger than the bird, place the chicken on its back, and fold the wings behind its 'head’ (think of it lying on the beach with its hands under its head and its elbows out!).
- Put half the salt in the palm of your hand and pat to cover the breast side (top) of the bird. Take the remaining salt in your palm and pat it all over the back of the bird and inside the cavity. Do the same with the pepper. Place the bird on its back. Pat the grated onion all over the top of the bird, saving a little for the bottom side and the cavity.Pour the lemon juice all over the top of the bird and a little in the cavity. Pour the melted butter to cover the top of the bird
- Let the chicken rest at room temperature for a minimum of 6 hours, or refrigerate overnight and remove from refrigerator 2 hours before cooking.
- With the oven at 400 degrees F, roast the bird for 20 minutes (or 15 minutes if it is getting too brown). Remove the bird from the oven; turn down the oven to 325 degrees F . Turn bird on its side and baste it with the pan juices. Roast 15 minutes, turn onto the other side, baste and roast 15 minutes. Turn on its breast, baste and roast 15 minutes. Turn bird over. Legs should be loose in their sockets. If not, baste and bake another 15 minutes on its back, til browned and legs are loose.
- Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes. Baste and serve with basmati rice to absorb the piquant sauce.