I usually don’t pat myself on the back when it comes to cooking. Sure, I cook. I eat. I judge. And I try to be better. But sometimes, I do have to admit that food is food. It feeds you. You wash the dishes and move on. Once in a while though, you are lucky to have created something so simple yet so delicious that you do stop and give yourself a nice pat on the back, or two. This was my moment, when I took a bite of the Roasted Thyme & Lemon Chicken breast, I tasted the bright citrus against the earthiness of the thyme, a kick of garlic flavor come together as one. My mouth delighted!
The truth is I was going to attempt to roast a whole chicken. I had it all planned out, right up until the moment I went to the grocery store. They were out of whole chickens. No lie. Ok, maybe a little. They did have organic chickens, but somehow I couldn’t make myself pay almost $20 for one. So I decided to improvise and bought skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts.
I’m not one for white meat. I usually find it dry and flavorless. I prefer it dark. So this was a challenge.
I rinsed and patted dry the chicken. Carefully and gently pulled back the skin and stuffed it with sliced garlic and sprigs of thyme. Sprinkled with salt and pepper (inside and out).
Treating the chicken with the utmost respect, I rested it on a bed of cut up celery, carrots and garlic. Then came out a lemon. A generous squeeze of lemon juice all over the vegetables and chicken. And just to make sure there was enough acidity, I tucked in a few pieces of lemon in the roasting pan. Let’s not forget the olive oil either – it coated the vegetables and the chicken.
Time for the oven! Nice and hot at 425 degrees. Let the chicken cook. But don’t kill it – it’s already dead. Get it up to the internal temperature of 160 (it’ll come up to 165 while it’s resting). Eat and enjoy.
By the time the chicken was ready, it was too dark and I was too hungry to snap a picture. Perhaps you’ll trust me when I tell you how beautiful it was. I do recommend cooking the chicken with the skin on – the skin will keep the chicken moist. If you’re watching what you eat, feel free to remove the skin once the chicken is fully baked.
Now go and bake your own chicken – what are you waiting for?