I love when a recipe saves your culinary spirit. After a couple of flops in the new-recipe-department last week, I was feeling a little low and upset about wasted time and ingredients. Luckily, I found this recipe that saved me from a three strike failure. This easy-to-make roasted chicken is perfect for a cool, autumn evening.
The original recipe uses small, whole chickens but I used some large, locally-raised, antibiotic-free chicken legs instead because we love chicken legs. Since I wasn't stuffing whole birds with the lemon, garlic and rosemary, I placed them on the baking pan underneath the chicken legs.
The chicken parts are brushed with a honey/lemon/balsamic mixture and roasted in a hot oven to produce the beautiful lacquered skin and then finished at a lower temperature. Chicken is so versatile that any side dish you like would be wonderful. Roasted potatoes, squash, or grilled eggplant, which is what we had. I found this beautiful, Italian eggplant at the Farmers' Market, which we sliced, brushed with olive oil, seasoned with some Italian herbs and grilled.
So far, fall has been kind to us and I still have quite a few things blooming in the garden. These photos were all taken in the past several days.
Two of my favorite fall-blooming flowers are the Colchicums, or autumn crocus, in the first photo along with Japanese Anemone and Tricyrtis or toad lily, above, with some favorite dahlias.
How is Fall in your area? Although the trees are changing color, we are behind in both color change and leaf drop compared to last year.
Honey-Lacquered Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or glaze
Whole chicken legs
Salt and Pepper
6 small rosemary sprigs
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1/3 of a lemon, cut into slices
Preheat the oven to 450°.
Rinse with cool water and dry chicken with paper toweling.
In a small bowl, combine the honey, lemon juice and balsamic. Scatter the rosemary sprigs, garlic and lemon slices over a baking sheet. Set the chickens pieces on top of them. Brush two-thirds of the honey glaze over the chickens and season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast in the middle of the hot oven for 20-30 minutes, checking after 20 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325°. Rotate the pan and brush with the remaining glaze. Roast the chicken for about 30-40 minutes longer, until the juices run clear when the thighs are pierced, basting with the pan juices at least twice. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving, and serve.
My Notes: I halved the glaze ingredients and used four whole chicken legs to serve two people. The original recipe calls for soy sauce instead of balsamic vinegar and uses whole chickens which are stuffed with the garlic, rosemary and lemon. Use 3 large sprigs of rosemary, 3 quartered garlic cloves, and 1/3 lemon if using whole chickens. Increase roasting time if you are using whole chickens.
Recipe Adapted from Food and Wine