Chicken with Honey & Lemon

Summer 2010
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food and drink

BY: Marilyn Bentz-Crowley

Cold chicken is delectable on a picnic. Herbes de Provence can be replaced with 2 tbsp (25 mL) very finely chopped mélange of herbs gathered from your garden such as thyme, basil, summer savoury, oregano and somewhat less of strongly flavoured lavender flowers and rosemary.

2 large chickens, cut into quarters or 4 bone-in breasts and 8 bone-in thighs
⅔ cup (150 mL) liquid honey
1 tbsp (15 mL) fine lemon zest
1 tbsp (15 mL) dried herbes de Provence
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup (50 mL) chopped fresh parsley
2 lemons, each cut into 8 wedges

1. Adjust rack above oven centre; preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Foil line a broiler pan bottom or similarly sized baking sheet with sides.

2. Trim off and discard chicken skin (as it burns easily with honey and does not become crisp) and any loose fat. Lay chicken, bone side down, slightly apart with breasts in pan corners and leg quarters or thighs in centre.

3. Stir honey with zest; set aside 2 tbsp (25 mL)for end of roasting. Heat another 2 tbsp (25 mL)honey for 10 to 15 seconds in microwave to liquefy. Brush all over chicken tops; sprinkle with herbs. Liberally season with pinches of salt and grindings of black pepper.

4. Bake chicken 15 minutes; baste with half of remaining honey mixture. Continue baking for another 15 minutes. Baste again with remaining half of honey mixture. Continue baking another 5 minutes or until richly browned, and breasts are cooked to nearly 170°F (75°C)on an instant-read thermometer.

5. Remove chicken from juices into a baking tray. Using a clean brush (to avoid cross-contamination), slather chicken with reserved honey mixture. Sprinkle with parsley.

6. Strain pan juices into a measuring cup; skim off and discard fat. Stir in about 1 tsp (5 mL) of lemon juice, about 1 wedge squeezed. Serve juices with chicken or cover and refrigerate if serving later. (Warm cold juices before serving.)

7. Serve warm or cold chicken with juices and lemon wedges for guests to add to taste.(If planning on serving cold, cool chicken on tray on a rack. Refrigerate, covered or in heavy plastic bags, until ready to take to picnic, up to a day or 2 ahead.)

Serves 6 to 8