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By Kevin Williams
Roast chicken among the Amish is an easy, favorite dish because it involves little more than dressing it up a bit with a few spices, perhaps some veggies, and popping it in the oven. On a busy weekday, you can't beat that!
This roast chicken recipe has a hint of lemon to it and comes to us from a Swartzentruber Amish cook. Lemons are something that most Amish bulk food stores sell and it's not uncommon for Amish cooks to keep some lemons on hand to add a quick dash of flavoring to a dish.
If you want some chicken baking tips, here are some from the North Carolina Cooperative Extension:
First of all, there are two basic methods for cooking: dry heat and moist heat. Dry heat methods include baking, roasting, grilling, sautéing, and deep frying. Moist heat methods include microwaving, poaching, baking in parchment, steaming, and slow cooking. This is the rule: when cooking chicken breasts with dry heat, use high heat and cook for a short period of time. When using moist heat, use low heat and cook for a longer period of time. Now when I say longer, that doesn’t mean hours. Grilled chicken breasts cook in 8-10 minutes, while poached breasts cook in about 15 minutes. And here’s another tip: when cooking with dry heat, pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness so they will cook evenly.
The cooking time and internal temperature is crucial in chicken to ensure that you kill off all bacteria. The internal temperature of chicken breast should be 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember that the meat will continue to cook after it’s removed from the heat; the internal temperature will rise about 5-10 degrees in the first few minutes it’s off the heat. If you do not have a meat thermometer it is a necessary and a very important tool to have in your kitchen. It is the only way of determining if food is cooked to the correct internal temperature. Learning how to cook the chicken properly can save a lot of time and money and can put your mind to rest whether you are worried about diseases or overcooking.
And now for the star of the show, the recipe!
- 1 whole chicken (approximately 4 pounds)
- ½ cup butter, softened
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon of oregano
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 whole lemons
- 1 tbsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 400*F. Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven.
- Remove the innards from the chicken and pat the chicken dry with a cloth..
- Place breast side down in a medium roasting pan.
- Pour the lemon juice all over the chicken, both inside and out.
- In a small bowl, combine butter, oregano and onion powder.
- Spread mixture all over the chicken, including the cavity.
- Season all over with salt and pepper, including the cavity.
- Prick 2 whole lemons three times each in three different places with a fork and place them deep in the chicken..
- Put the chicken in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350*F, and roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven.
- Tun the chicken breast side up.
- Return the chicken to the oven for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let the chicken sit
- for 10 minutes before carving.
- Pour the juices from the roasting pan on top of the sliced chicken.