Roasted Lemon-Garlic Chicken

Djeaj bil Furrin (djeaj-bill-fur-rin)

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This recipe is easy to prepare and delivers a lot of flavor. A combination of fresh lemon juice, garlic, onions, and olive oil set the stage for this dish. The aroma that fills the air as the chicken bakes will captivate your taste buds.

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken—about pounds, cut into 10 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 5 large cloves garlic
  • teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup cloves garlic (cut in half lengthwise)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 lemons (cut each into 6 wedges)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup grated yellow onion (use the large holes of a grater)
  • ¼ teaspoon table-grind black pepper
  • Lemon wedges, sprigs of parsley, and paprika (for garnish)
  • (You can substitute 3 pounds split chicken breast if you prefer all white meat. Cut each breast in half width-wise).

Special equipment

A pestle (a garlic press will do).

Method

Prepare Ahead

You can roast the chicken several hours in advance, although it is best right out of the oven. Reheat at 425°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through.

To Prepare the Chicken

Cut the chicken into 10 pieces (see “Segmenting Chicken”). In a large bowl, rinse the pieces of chicken in 6 cups cold water with the vinegar to refresh the flavor of the chicken. Drain and set aside.

Place the 5 large cloves of garlic in the same large bowl with the salt, and use a pestle to mash it to a pulp. Add the remaining ingredients (not the garnish) and mix well. Add the chicken and fully coat the pieces. Cover and refrigerate for 2 days (after the first day, stir the mixture and transfer the pieces on top to the bottom to evenly marinate).

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the pieces of chicken, skin-side up, in an ovenproof baking dish just large enough to hold them. Place the legs and thighs toward the outer edge of the dish and the breasts and wings toward the center. Wedge the pieces of lemon and garlic between the pieces of chicken. Pour the remaining marinade over the top. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, basting the chicken a couple of times.

To brown the chicken, place under the broiler until golden brown. Keep a watchful eye, as it will brown quickly under the broiler. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes prior to serving.

To Serve

Garnish with fresh lemon wedges and sprigs of parsley, and lightly sprinkle paprika around the perimeter of the dish.

Variations

Roasted Lemon-Ginger Chicken

You can substitute ¼cup grated fresh ginger for the garlic.

Grilled Lemon-Garlic (or Ginger) Chicken

Grill the chicken over medium heat while basting several times with the marinade. Once cooked through, remove to a foil pouch and let steam for about 10 minutes prior to serving. This marinade also works well with boneless skinless chicken breast on the grill. Use about 3 pounds trimmed boneless/skinless breasts.