Roast Chicken – The Ultimate Comfort Food

Is there anything more beautiful than a fresh snowfall? It blankets our world in white, and gives me the perfect excuse to snuggle in front of the fireplace. Luckily I work from home so I have that luxury. Steve on the other hand has to trudge out to his car and battle the mess that is out on the roads. Needless to say he’s not enamored with the snow like I am.


What is the best thing about a snow day? For me it’s comfort food. In planning meals for the week I had an eye on the forecast and on the lemons ripening on the tree in my dining room. What is more comforting on a snowy day than roast chicken? Maybe I should rephrase that, what is more comforting than roast chicken any day? We never tire of it. I roast a chicken pretty much every week and we marvel at how good it is.


The thing about roast chicken is there are so many ways to prepare it. Right now I have ripe lemons on my tree, fresh rosemary and a whole chicken in the fridge.


I have been working diligently and forgot to keep an eye on the clock. Steve arrived home and I had not even started to prepare dinner. He headed to work out, warning me that he skipped lunch today.  That means he’s hungry and will be ready to eat in an hour or so.  Luckily it’s easy to speed up the cooking process by spatchcocking  the chicken. That is cutting out the back pressing down on it to have it lie flat in the pan (CLICK HERE for a short video that demonstrates how to do this). This allows it contact with the hot pan and speeds up the cooking process.


I pulled out my favorite cast iron pan, slathered the chicken in olive oil, seasoned it liberally with salt, pepper and freshly chopped rosemary and then nestled in a few lemon halves to roast along with the chicken. In standing back and looking at my handiwork I decided the perfect thing would be to roast some onion and garlic with it.


It only takes a few minutes before the house is perfumed with the most amazing aromas. Is there anything better than the smell of a roasting chicken? I don’t think so…


When Steve had finished his workout the chicken was resting on the cutting board, waiting for him to carve. We chatted about our day, set the table and prepared a simple salad to serve with the chicken. That’s all we needed. The perfect compliment to a snow day!

For the Recipe:

What is more comforting than a roast chicken? We never seem to tire of it.  I find that the simpler the preparation, the more beloved it is.  Here I flattened the chicken by cutting out the back and pressing it to lie flat in the pan.  This speeds up the cooking process without sacrificing flavor or that delicious crisped skin everyone loves.  In this recipe I roasted lemons, onions and garlic along with the chicken and made a delicious pan sauce.  There is nothing better than this on a cold day!

Lemon and Rosemary Roasted Chicken
  • 1 Whole Chicken, 3 -4 pounds
  • 1 -2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 - 2 Lemons, halved and seeds removed
  • ½ Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 -5 Garlic Cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Prepare the chicken by removing the back with sissor's and opening it like a book and gently pressing down to have it lie flat. CLICK HERE for a great video to show you how to do this. Gently place the chicken in a skillet or roasting pan to hold it snugly. I use a 12' cast iron skillet.
  3. Rub the chicken all over with the olive oil and season liberally with salt, pepper and the chopped rosemary. Pour ¾ cup of the white wine into the pan around the chicken.
  4. Roast the chicken in the oven until the juices run clear, about 35 - 40 minutes. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees on a cooking thermometer.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pan and let it rest on a cutting board, covered with foil for 20 - 30 minutes to redistribute the juices.
  6. While the chicken is resting, squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins, and the juice from the lemons, discarding the garlic skins and lemon halves. Remove as much fat as possible from the pan juices. Smash the garlic cloves with a fork and return them to the pan.
  7. Place the pan on the stove, add the remaining ¼ cup of white wine, heat the pan juices to medium and stir up the brown bits. Season with to taste salt, and pepper. if the lemon is to strong then temper the flavor with some olive oil.
  8. Carve the chicken and serve with the pan juices.




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