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Roasted Lemon Tarragon Chicken

*Yawn*  And a happy Friday to you all.  I’m amazed I’m even working on the blog today considering I was out until all hours of the night with my good friend Bon Jovi last night.  Yea that’s right.  I was rocking out to a little “It’s my life”, “Livin’ on a Prayer”, and “Runaway” of which the latter is still stuck in my head and won’t leave me alone.

A rather large group of my neighbors went together and we all chipped in to rent a really large, really raucous, really black party bus.  I haven’t had an experience like that since college.  I’m exhausted, I’m tired, and I’m in dire need of a nap, but all that being said, (did I mention I could go to sleep right now and not wake up until the next morning?  I’m such an old lady.)  it was definitely an experience that was worth the next day hangover that has accompanied it.

Anyway, I’m not here to wax poetic about my love affair with Bon Jovi (ok, well maybe I am just a little bit), I’m here to help you make an amazing lemon tarragon chicken, so we might as well get on with it.  Here’s what you’ll need:

1 Whole Chicken
1/4 Cup of White Wine
2 Tbsp of Butter
The Juice of One Lemon plus the lemon carcasses
1 Large Bunch of Fresh Tarragon
1 Small Bunch of Fresh Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 Tbsp of Olive Oil

The first thing you’ll want to do is cut up your butter into 6-8 small chunks.  Then you’ll slide them under the skin on the top and bottom.  Make sure to spread them out around the bird so that the butter can cover all the meat.  He should look like he just mutated and might sprout an extra wing at any moment.  Or maybe that’s just the way I see it when looking at this picture of my bird with his butter bumps.

Next you’ll place the bird in a baking pan and drizzle the olive oil over the outside of him (or her as the case may be).  Pour your wine over and finally squeeze your lemon on the top.  Stick the used lemon carcasses inside the cavity of your bird.  Now salt and pepper on the top and bottom.  Chop up about half of your fresh tarragon and put it on top of your bird.  Take the other half of the tarragon stems and stuff them into the cavity along with the lemons.  Chop up a small handful of parsley and throw that on top as well.  Green is good, right?  Now he’s ready for the oven.  Doesn’t it look delicious already?!

Throw the bird in your oven heated to 375 degrees covered.  Cooking time will depend on the size of your chicken, but for me I cooked him covered with foil for 1 hour and 20 minutes and then uncovered him for another 30 minutes to get his skin nice and golden, basting once in the last 30 minutes.  Your internal temperature should be 180 degrees, so I recommend sticking a meat thermometer in when you uncover him to know for sure when it’s finished.  In case you’re not sure where to stick it, a meat thermometer should be stuck right between the thigh and the body where it attaches.  That’s the deepest area and the last place to be cooked through.

And, are you ready for this?  Here is the finished product:

If that’s not one of the most beautiful pieces of meat you’ve ever seen, I don’t know what is.  It takes some time to make this dish, but let me tell ya, it’s worth the effort.  The chicken was fall off the bone yummy, and we even had enough left to make loaded burritos the next night (yes, I will post that recipe in the upcoming days).

So in the words of my man Bon Jovi, It’s your life, it’s now or never.  Make the chicken man!!

Roasted Lemon Tarragon Chicken

Yield: 1 4-6pd Roasted Chicken

Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp Butter
1 4-6pd Whole Chicken
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 Cup White Wine
1 Lemon, Juiced (plus the carcasses for stuffing)
1 Bunch Fresh Tarragon
1 Bunch Fresh Parsley
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

Cut up the butter into 6-8 small chunks and slide them under the skin of the chicken on the top and bottom. Make sure to spread around the bird so that the butter can cover all the meat.

Place the bird in a baking pan and drizzle the olive oil over the outside.

Pour the wine over and finally squeeze your lemon on the top.

Stick the used lemon carcasses inside the cavity of your bird.

Salt and pepper on the top and bottom.

Chop up about half the fresh tarragon and sprinkle it over the bird.

Take the other half of the tarragon stems and stuff them into the cavity along with the squeezed lemons. Chop up a small handful of parsley and throw that on top as well stuffing the remaining stems into the bird with the tarragon.

Slide the bird into an oven heated to 375 degrees covered with foil. Cook for about an hour and 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees and top turns a crispy golden brown. If the top of your chicken is looking too dark, simply re-tent the chicken with the foil until the desired temperature is achieved.