Lemon Chicken with Croutons

I always enjoy having Friday night dinner at my friend Miera Martinez’s house because I am guaranteed a great meal. (and of course, the company is lovely as well!) For a full time Lawyer and mom of two, she never fails to amaze me with her freshly baked challah and home made chumus. She also managed to do something I could never do, she got my husband to eat chicken and actually like it! When I saw how much he enjoyed it, I made a mental note to email her as soon as shabbat was over for the recipe, and here it is.

Ingredients:

1 (4- to 5- pound) roasting chicken (quartered chicken can be used as well)
1 large yellow onion, sliced
Good olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, quartered
2 Tbs. parave margarine
3 cups bread cubes (1 baguette or round boule cut into 3/4 inch cubes, or ready made can be used)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

– If you are using quartered chicken, wash them.  Then toss the onion with a little olive oil in a 9×13 pan, then place the chicken pieces on top. Season with salt and pepper then arrange the quarted lemon slices on top of the chicken. Cover with foil and bake for and 1 and 45 minutes.

To serve, place the croutons on a serving platter. Take the quartered chicken and place it, plus all the pan juices, over the croutons. Serve warm.

(If you want to keep it in the pan, as shown in the photo, you can just take the croutons and put them under the chicken so they mix with the juices)

– If using a roasting chicken, take the giblets out of the chicken and wash it inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers. Toss the onion with a little olive oil in a small roasting pan.  Place the chicken on top and sprinkle the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper. Place the lemons inside the chicken.  Pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels, brush with the margarine, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string (I actually skipped this step and nothing bad happened.) and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.

Roast for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Cover with foil and allow to sit at room temp for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, if preparing homemade croutons, then heat a large saute pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until very hot. Lower the heat to medium-low and saute the bread cubes, tossing frequently, until nicely browned, 8 – 10 minutes. Add more olive oil, as needed, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

To serve, place the croutons on a serving platter. If using a whole chicken, slice the chicken and place it, plus all the pan juices, over the croutons. Otherwise, just take the quartered chicken andplace it, plus all the pan juices, over the crouton. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm.

(If you want to keep it in the pan, as shown in the photo, you can just take the croutons and put them under the chicken so they mix with the juices)

~ Recipe submitted by Nina Safar

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