Lemon Parsley Chicken

My first time making a whole chicken! (I know, it’s about time!) This is really easy to make but it requires some prep work and waiting. Not to worry, though: it’s oven-baked, so you can go about doing other things you want to do while your dinner cooks.

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken (mine was about 5 lbs.)

3 lemons (1 for placing inside the chicken cavity, so wash and scrub it well; 2 for squeezing the juice out)

A generous helping each of salt, pepper, and dried parsley (I go crazy with the parsley!)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400F. Remove the giblets from the chicken cavity (they might still be frozen if you de-frosted your chicken). I thawed my chicken for three full days in the refrigerator and the giblets were still frozen and wrapped neatly in a bag. You can use the giblets for stock and other dishes, but since this was my first time working with a whole chicken, I decided not to do anything with them.

Wash the chicken inside and out, including the cavity. Pat it dry with paper towels.

Season/rub with salt, pepper, and parsley, including inside the cavity. Squeeze the juice of 2 lemons onto the chicken and inside the cavity. Prick a fork into the third whole lemon at least 10 times and nestle it inside the chicken cavity. Place the chicken breast-side down on a roasting rack and lower the oven temperature to 350F. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the chicken and turn chicken breast-side up. I read somewhere that at this point you should insert a meat thermometer in the thigh (make sure it does not touch the bone). Place the chicken in the oven again. Calculate a cooking time of 18-20 minutes per pound of chicken, plus an additional 15 minutes. Let the chicken rest for 10 mnutes before carving. Since my chicken was about five pounds, I baked it for 2 hours and 55 minutes.

I served the chicken with broccoli. I washed and cut the whole stalks into smaller pieces and threw them into a boiling pot. Once the water began to boil again, I waited about 2 minutes and then poured them into a colander to drain and then immediately into an ice-water bowl so they would stop cooking. They came out great!

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