Sundays should always be special, regardless of the seasons of the Church. Growing up, Sundays were a time for family – both immediate and extended. Family was everything. If there is one thing the Pandemic has taught us, it’s the value of family.
Unfortunately for many of us, extended family has been put on hold. Privilege has its price. In California, we are strongly discouraged from interacting with family outside of those who live together under the same roof. Culture and economics play pivotal roles in the makeup of same-family households. In America, we tend to limit the single family households to immediate, as in Mom, Dad and the socially acceptable number of children. Too bad, so sad. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I truly believe family compounds are a much better way to live. The more caring people we have in our lives, the more we grow as giving human beings. I truly feel blessed having grown up in a home with a revolving door for extended family.
Okay, enough ranting for one Sunday. Today is the first Sunday of the Lenten Season. While all Sundays should be reason enough to celebrate, within the disciplines of Lent, Sunday’s reprieve is especially welcomed. To me, nothing says Sunday Supper quite like a Roast Chicken. Yum!
Herb and Lemon Roasted Chicken
4 lb Chicken Roaster
1 large Yellow Onion
5 Garlic Cloves
3 sprigs Rosemary
4 sprigs Thyme
1 large Lemon
2 tablespoons Butter
2 cups Chicken Stock
Let chicken rest on the counter for about 20 minutes before roasting to even the temperature. Position oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Peel onion, cut into 8 wedges and set aside. Peel garlic. Set 4 cloves aside. Mince remaining clove, place in a small bowl. Set aside 2 springs of Rosemary and 3 springs of thyme.
Strip remaining rosemary needles from the sprig. Mince and add to the garlic. Pluck leaves from remaining sprig of thyme, add to the garlic mixture.
Zest lemon directly into the garlic mixture. Set mixture aside. Slice lemon into 6 rounds, set aside.
Add soft butter to the garlic mixture. Mash everything together with a fork until well blended. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Pat the chicken dry. Season inside cavity with salt and pepper. Rub half of the herb butter under the skin and the rest over the chicken. Season skin with more salt and pepper.
Set the chicken breast-side-up on a rack in a roasting pan. Scatter the onion, lemon, garlic cloves and herb sprigs and add 1-1/2 cups of chicken stock. Roast for 30 minutes, until the breast is firm and just beginning to brown in spots. Using tongs, turn the chicken breast-down and roast for 30 minutes longer, until the skin is lightly browned.
Note: If roasting pan has dried, add more stock or water to maintain moisture while roasting.
Using tongs, turn the chicken breast-side-up. Add remaining 1/2 cup of the stock. Roast for about 20 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh registers 175-degrees.
This is great with your favorite Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Green Beans for a simple family supper that seems to cook itself.