Jen In The Kitchen: Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken

Jen In The Kitchen: Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken

I LOVE to cook and one of my favorite celebrity chefs is the Barefoot Contessa. I think her recipes are simple yet elegant which makes her food great for entertaining and every day meals! One of my favorite recipes is this Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken. I made it this week and it so good!

The flavors in this dish work well together and make the house smell SO GOOD.

You simply slice an onion, a lemon and some garlic and throw it in a cast iron skillet.

Then you put the chicken, skin down, on top of the onion mixture. The recipe calls for a full bird, butterflied. To simplify, I used a whole chicken, cut into pieces (skin on). Once the chicken is in the pan, brush this deliciousness right on top. It is a mixture of fennel seeds, fresh thyme and olive oil. It smells soooo good!

Flip the bird (over) so the skin side is up. Take some clean paper towels to pat the chicken dry.

Don’t skip this step! It is very important in order for the skin to get crispy and delicious! Brush the remaining oil mixture and you’re ready to pop it in the oven!

It already smells amazing and it isn’t even in the oven yet! I made a few extra pieces because I was feeding 5 people and wanted to make sure we had leftovers! I used a smaller cast iron skillet for the extra thighs…

Now let’s talk about cast iron skillets. Cooking in cast iron truly enhances the flavor of the food. There is something about a well-seasoned cast iron skillet that works magic on the simplest of foods. I have made this recipe in a cast iron skillet and a regular baking dish (I needed to double the recipe and couldn’t fit all the chicken in one pan). I couldn’t believe the difference between the two. The cast-iron skillet created this deep color in the food that I didn’t get when using the baking dish. So while it was still good, I’d definitely recommend using a cast iron skillet. Don’t have one? This is THE brand in cast iron.

Your house will smell so divine when this dish is in the oven (have I said that yet?). I was so ready to eat by the time it was done, I forgot to take a picture when it came out of the oven. Rutroh…

See all of that yummy goodness on the bottom of the pan – that is a pan gravy of onion, lemon, and garlic. So good!

Here is the recipe in full…

  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 (4-pound) chicken, backbone removed and butterflied
  • ½ cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Place the thyme, fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a mini food processor and process until ground. Pour the olive oil into a small glass measuring cup, stir in the herb mixture, and set aside.

Distribute the lemon slices in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet and distribute the onion and garlic on top. Place the chicken, skin side down, on top of the onion and brush with about half the oil and herb mixture. Turn the chicken skin side up, pat it dry with paper towels (very important!), and brush it all over with the rest of the oil and herb mixture.

Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Pour the wine into the pan (not on the chicken!) and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 155 to 160 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the oven, sprinkle it with the lemon juice, cover the skillet tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut the chicken into quarters or eighths, sprinkle with salt, and serve hot with the pan juices, cooked lemon, and onion.

Enjoy!

Dream Big. Live Life.

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