Whole roasted lemon caper chicken
Roasting a chicken shouldn't be a special occasion thing, but it typically is. The secret? It's pretty hands off once you get it in the oven. That means that while your dinner is cooking up, you can watch yet another episode of [insert your favorite tv show here], and it'll be ready for the end of the episode. Plus a roasted chicken typically makes for leftovers, so you have dinner plus lunch ready to go.
A great alternative if you'd rather not cook an entire chicken is to repeat this method with pieces, adjusting cooking times accordingly. Also don't skip out of the lemon caper butter! It makes this chicken more special than your typical supermarket variety.
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 whole, small chicken
- 3 large carrots
- 2 large celery stalks
- 1/2 head of garlic
- 1 packed cup of parsley
Before you begin, soften your butter by allowing it to get to room temperature on your counter. All hope isn’t lost if you forget! Just zap it for around 10 seconds in your microwave.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
To make the lemon caper butter, first zest the lemon and roughly chop the capers. Combine the lemon zest and capers with the softened butter. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper and stir. This is going to flavor your entire chicken, so don’t be shy with seasoning.
Add a light drizzle of olive oil to coat the bottom of a roasting pan. Wash and cut the tops and ends off of the carrots and celery stalks. Lay these in the bottom of the roasting pan in one even layer.
Rinse and dry the chicken, then lay the chicken, breast-side up on top of the vegetables. Slather the chicken in the lemon caper butter, including under the skin for extra crispy skin. Cut the peeled lemon in half, and add it into the cavity of the chicken. Also add the garlic (doesn’t need to be peeled) and parsley (stems and all are fine). You may want to tie the legs together with kitchen string to keep everything together, but it's not required.
Roast the chicken until it hits an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the center of the breast, which should take around 1 hour. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before slicing.