chef carol’s favorite sicilian chicken

Autumn is here, and the weather is turning cooler — we all know what that means — it’s time to turn on the oven! And my favorite roast chicken immediately comes to mind. It’s juicy, full of flavor, and succulent. You can make a pan sauce with the drippings, if you choose (I ALWAYS CHOOSE THAT). I serve this chicken with mashed potatoes or rice, a green vegetable, and we’re all set. Buon apetito!

sicilian chicken

Sicilian Chicken

1 roasting chicken (about 4 pounds)
salt and pepper
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 handful of fresh rosemary sprigs
1 lemon, pricked around with fork
 for serving:
fresh parsley
lemon slices or wedges

Combination roasting method: Preheat oven to 425°F. Wash and dry chicken. Salt and pepper cavity of chicken; place rosemary and lemon inside cavity. Rub outside of chicken generously with olive oil. Truss chicken if desired. Place chicken on a rack in roasting pan.

Roast 15 minutes at 425°F. Baste with additional olive oil. Sprinkle chicken generously with salt after browning has begun. Reduce heat to 350°F and continue basting every 15 to 30 minutes. Roast until chicken is done, about 1 hour (OR reduce heat to 250°F. Cooking time will be about 4 hours; this will result in really lemony, flavorful chicken) until internal temperature reaches 160°F, and juices run clear. Remove from heat, tent with foil, let stand 10 minutes before carving.

Serve on a bed of parsley and lemons.

Serves 3-4.

sauce for sicilian chicken:

1 small shallot, minced
1 tablespoon of arrowroot or cornstarch
1 cup or so dry white wine

Remove the chicken and the roasting rack from the roasting pan, leaving the juices in the pan.

After removing chicken from the roasting pan, take the lemon out of the cavity, squeeze out some lemon juice for the sauce into a small bowl; set aside.

If the roasting pan can be used on the stovetop, place it on the burner over medium heat, or, transfer the chicken drippings to a skillet. Add the shallot; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, make a slurry by stirring together the arrowroot or cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the wine; set aside. To the roasting pan, add ½ to 1 cup of dry white wine, the lemon juice from the chicken. Bring to a boil; then reduce the liquid by half. Add the slurry to the sauce. Simmer at least 10 minutes. Correct the seasonings; serve hot.


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