Sunday, August 2, 2009

Librarians' Lemon Thyme Chook

You might think with the new series of The Librarians coming up next week that that TV program might be the inspiration for this recipe. But how wrong would you be!

Oh the power of suggestion! Tonight several of my friends on Facebook were roasting chickens for dinner. I had planned making meatballs with some "organic" meat that I sincerely hope did not go through the traumata I saw in the great doco Food Inc yesterday. But what happened to me? I went off to do my regular Sunday night supermarket shopping to my favourite Piedimonte's, pleased to notice their pledges about preservatives and organicness at the door and to note that most of their fruit and vegetables were "Product of Australia" and hence somewhat seasonal. I was just about to leave when I thought: hmm roast potatoes would be nice. I bought some potatoes and next thing you know I was back in the meat section buying a chicken! Thanks Stephanie McGlinchey and Michelle McLean for the inspiration: this recipe is for you!

My chicken recipe has at its basis Stephanie Alexander's roast chook, 220c, chook with vegetables around, 20 minutes each side, 20 minutes breast up. But I used preserved lemons, dried thyme, garlic and salt instead of her condiments. I haven't done this before, so I really looked forward to the flavours. It was delicious.


1 fresh chicken
2 cloves garlic
4 quarters preserved lemons
1 dsp salt
4 potatoes
Olive oil
Dry thyme sprigs


Preheat oven to 220c
Quarter potatoes and place in bowl with thyme and dribble with olive oil
Pull up your sleeves and mix potatoes to coat with thyme and oil
Rub the chicken inside and out with quarter of preserved lemon
Place other quarters of preserved lemon inside cavity
Crush the garlic cloves and place inside cavity
Sprinkle salt over all top, bottom and sides of chicken
Place chicken in baking dish on its side
Arrange potatoes around
Rub chicken with remaining oil and thyme mixture from bowl
Place in centre of oven and cook for 20 minutes
Bring out of oven and turn chicken to other side
Turn the potatoes
Cook for another 20 minutes
Bring out of oven and turn chicken onto back (ie breast facing upwards)
Turn the potatoes
Cook for another 20 minutes
During this final 20 minutes of cooking prepare salad or vegetables to accompany.

I served it with a simple rocket, parmesan, oil and vinegar salad on the side and was delighted to have chicken for lunches during the film festival this coming week.

Thanks Stephanie Alexander, Stephanie McGlinchey and Michelle McLean for the inspiration to try this out! You can't go wrong really with the ingredients. Pretty good hey? The power of four librarians in the kitchen! Now I need to get on with those meatballs and use up the meat waiting for that!


Michelle McLean said...

Wow, never been an inspiration for a roast chicken dinner before. Thanks! It looks like it was scrumptious.

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