Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Melissa's Week: Meyer Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken


Meyer Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken

As things FINALLY wind down for the year, I'm finally finding some time to cook and publish some HEALTHY meals! 

Melissa's Produce was one of my AMAZING sponsors for this year's World Food Championships, and I couldn't have done so well without them!  In fact, the only recipe I created that DIDN'T do well, was the only one that DIDN'T contain anything from Melissa's!  Look for their products EVERYWHERE in grocery stores...from fresh produce to organic herbs to wine and gift baskets, Melissa's products are something I know I can always count on.

I'm also FINALLY in my new home, dream kitchen and all!  My back yard even has some amazing fruit trees!  I've got grapefruit, lemons, and somewhat of a hybrid tree...it's got oranges, lemons AND my favorites, MEYER LEMONS! 

Today, I'm sharing a healthy meal that can be shared any day of the week or for a special holiday celebration.  The citrus flavor of the Meyer lemons pair SO well with a fruity Riesling wine, and the savory flavors of the Melissa's Poultry Blend balance and season the flavor of the chicken perfectly!

P.S.  This would be an AMAZING Christmas Turkey recipe...just sayin' !

Meyer Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken

Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 90 minutes / Servings 4-6

Melissa's Poultry Blend
Ingredients:
  • 1 large roasting chicken (about 5lbs.) thawed
  • 1 packet of Melissa's Poultry Blend fresh herbs (.75 oz.)
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 3 scallions
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tbsp.
  • juice and zest of 2 medium Meyer lemons
  • 2 cups peeled baby carrots
  • 3 medium Russet potatoes, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, roughly chopped 
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper
Steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. To prepare the herb mixture, remove the fresh herbs from the package of the Melissa's Poultry Blend.  Remove the large sticks and long stems from the thyme, rosemary and sage.  Transfer the leaves to a food processor and discard the stems and sticks.  Add the garlic cloves, scallions, olive oil and lemon juice and zest to the food processor. Season with 1 tsp. each salt and pepper.  Mix the herb mixture on high speed for about 30 seconds, until everything is combined and chopped in the food processor.
    Herb and Meyer lemon mixture
  3. Prepare the chicken by first removing the giblets from the inside of the chicken.  I also like to cut off any excess skin and tie the feet together with some baking twine or a string of cheese cloth.
  4. Using a basting brush, spread all of the herb mixture evenly over the chicken, working some under the skin of the breast. Place the prepared chicken on a wire rack inside a large roasting pan. 
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the carrots, potatoes, bell pepper and celery.  Add the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper.  Toss with your hands until well mixed and all veggies are coated with olive oil and seasoning. 
  6. Evenly add the veggies to the roasting pan on all sides.  Pour the chicken broth in around the veggies.
    Chicken and veggies ready for the oven
  7. Place in the oven at 375 degrees for about 90 minutes, uncovered.  Baste the chicken and stir the veggies about every 30 minutes, so that the skin browns and all the veggies cook evenly.  When the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees, remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before carving and serving.
Finished product!


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