For some reason, compliments usually come in the form of an insult around here. Take the Roasted Chicken with Artichoke, Lemon & Olives I made recently for example. It started the second I set the chicken down on the table… “what’s this,” my husband asked suspiciously. He then proceeded to accuse me of buying the chicken from a restaurant and passing it off as my own… “there’s no way you made this… these are very sophisticated flavors… this is so $%&^*%# good!” This went on for the rest of the night until I got tired of defending my chicken roasting abilities and went up to bed.
This is the kind of dinner you can throw together in less than 10 minutes and your guests will think you are a culinary genius. It’s absolutely outstanding served with pasta or spaghetti squash with a simple pesto.
If you can get your hands on it, use Fleur de Sel sea salt from the Island of Ré. It has a natural lavender taste and can take a simple roasted chicken from mediocre to fabulous just like that. I’ve purchased it at Whole Foods and sometimes Williams-Sonoma carries it.
Roasted Chicken with Artichoke, Lemon & Olives
- 1 whole 3 1/2 - 4 lb. chicken
- 1 14 ounce can quartered artichokes, drained
- 12-14 pitted green olives
- 2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 lemon, sliced
- fresh rosemary sprigs
- olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Butterfly the chicken (using a pair of scissors, cut through both sides of the backbone lengthwise so that you can remove the backbone), or ask your butcher to do it (you can also use a whole, pre-cut chicken).
- Rinse and pat dry the chicken.
- Lay the chicken down flat, breast side up in roasting pan.
- Place the artichokes and olives around the chicken.
- Lay the lemon and garlic slices on top the chicken, and around it.
- Drizzle a couple tablespoons of olive oil over everything.
- Salt and pepper the chicken, liberally.
- Place about two rosemary sprigs on top of the chicken.
- Roast for about 1 hour or so, turning the pan mid-way and basting every ten minutes after the first 30 minutes.
- Chicken is done when the skin is crisp and nicely browned.