Happy girls are the prettiest girls

3.25.2014

Tasty Tuesday: Sweet and spicy roasted lemon chicken

This is a special edition of Tasty Tuesday, in which I give you some recipes from a seasonal dinner party I hosted. Stop by Cassie's blog to see if she is sharing a recipe, too!
A few weeks back, I had Stephanie, Casey, their husbands, and Casey's adorable son Wilder over for dinner. We had come up with the idea to have seasonal dinner parties weeks before in a group text, and I was so excited to host the first one. We started with a Winter menu, trying to get ingredients that are readily available during this season. With imported produce, it's not like you can only find certain ingredients in their natural season, but we were trying. This was my first dinner party in my new home, so I was super excited to set my cool table and have people over. I bought flowers for the table, even though I'm allergic. I just made sure to find ones without super pollen-filled stamens.

As the host, I was in charge of the entree, and a salad, but I also roasted some veggies and heated up a garlic herb flatbread from Costco just because. Stephanie brought brie with blackberry jam wrapped in pastry, and Casey brought apple and blackberry cobblers for dessert and a creamy veggie casserole.

Right away, I knew I wanted to roast a whole chicken with a citrus twist, since citrus is mainly a winter fruit. Thanks to Pinterest, I found a few recipes and settled on one with a fiery glaze, thinking a tangy, sweet and spicy chicken would hit the spot.

Citrus Chicken with a honey glaze
Not the prettiest photo, but it was delicious.
Ingredients:
  • a 4-5lb whole roasting chicken, giblets and weird innards removed
  • 5 small lemons
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 lemons, halved or quartered if desired
Directions:
  1. Remove giblets from chicken if present. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place chicken into a gallon size ziploc bag set in a shallow dish. 
  2. Slice two of the lemons and add to the bag. Zest a lemon to get about 2 tsps of peel, set aside. Squeeze remaining lemons to get 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsps of juice for the glaze. 
  3. For the marinade: in a bowl combine 1/2 cup lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, garlic 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper. Whisk to mix, then pour into the bag over chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat chicken, then pop in the fridge for at least 4 hours. My recipe had called for 8-12 hours, so this would be a good step to do the night before or morning of. Turn the bag whenever you happen to peak in the fridge.
  4. Preheat oven to 375F. Put oven racks to lowest position. Place a small rack, or do what I do and ball up foil, in the bottom of a shallow roasting pan. 
  5. Let chicken stand for 15 minutes at room temperature. Drain chicken and set aside lemon slices, throw out the marinade. 
  6. Place the chicken, breast side up{I think I flipped this when I did it!}, on the rack or foil in the shallow roasting pan. Cover with the lemon slices. If you want, you can place lemon halves or quarters inside chicken cavity, or around the roasting pan. Roast uncovered for 1 hour.
  7. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine honey, 2 tsps lemon zest, 2 tbsps lemon juice, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
  8. At the hour mark, pull chicken out of oven, remove the lemons, and brush with honey sauce. return to oven and continue cooking another 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until a thermometer reads 175F and drumsticks move freely in their sockets. Brush with the honey mixture during cooking, and coat with the remaining when the cooking time is done. Let chicken rest 15 minutes before carving. Enjoy!
The table full of delicious foods
I can't wait for our Spring seasonal dinner! I get to make the appetizer for that one, so now I have to come up with some tasty recipe ideas that incorporate spring ingredients. Feel free to follow our Seasonal Dinner board on Pinterest to see what recipes we are considering!

Have you ever hosted a seasonal dinner party? I highly recommend it. Also, I wish I could fit a huge amount of people at my table and had more friends in the area, this would be so much fun with a big group. 

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