The Magic of Chicken,Lemon, & Rosemary

A cold spring day in the archipelago requires something warm to eat.

Something to bring back good memories as well as fill the stomach.

Chicken, lemon and rosemary; a dish my grandfather made for my mom, my mom made for us, now I make it for my family.

It’s simple, fulfilling and delicious too.

Under the skin of each split breast, slip a clove of garlic that you have crushed with the flat part of your chef knife.

Quarter four smallish Yukon Gold potatoes, along the long side. They should be no more then an inch thick at their widest part.

In a bowl, gentle toss the chicken and potatoes in a few ounces of olive oil.

Lightly brush the bottom of a roasting pan with olive oil. Place the breasts and the potatoes, all skin side up, in the pan.

Slice a lemon in half. Slice two rings off one half. The other piece cut in half and squeeze it on the chicken.

Take two long sprigs of rosemary and strip the leaves off the stem. Chop them well and sprinkle on the chicken and the potatoes. (I left the rosemary off the potatoes because the kids don’t like picking it off.) Season with salt & pepper and top with the two lemon slices.

Cover with foil and bake at 450 until 3/4 done. At that point take the foil off to crisp up the skin of the chicken. Cooking this with a cover keeps it moist. If you want it fully roasted, cook without a cover at 400. If it is getting too crispy, add a few tablespoons of water to the pan and cover with foil.

When you serve it, spoon the juice from the pan over it. Yes, it is full of chicken fat, but that has wounder flavor you won’t want to pass up.

A light white, of any kind pairs well. Even a semi sweet Riesling would work, as long as it has good acid.

Don’t forget the crusty bread to sop up the pan drippings.

Don’t forget to say grace. If we can sit at a table and eat a meal, then we have a lot to thank God for.


The split breast in the photo are large. They made four servings. (Not the best photo but we were in a hurry to eat.)

Other herbs can be mixed in too – thyme or oregano on the stem, chiffonade of basil, bay leaves (fresh if you can get it) broken into large pieces.You can leave the rosemary whole too. If you use whole herbs, let them stay on the chicken for a few hours before it goes in the oven. ( Store wrapped, away from other foods on the bottom self of your refrigerator until time to cook it.)

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