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Springtime Lemon & Sage Chicken

There is nothing like a roasting chicken to make your mouth water. In this dish I like to make a paste of fresh sage with garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and olive oil and put it under the skin of the chicken. I loosen the breast skin as well as the thigh and leg. I do this 2-3 days before cooking. This allows the flavors to really permeate the entire chicken. This is a great dish to do if you are having guests over. Just pair it with some room temp sides and toss some cut potatoes into the pan while the chicken is roasting and you have a tasty, easy meal.

Ingredients: (serves 4 -6, depending on the sides)

1 whole roasting chicken 4 - 5 lb.(organic if available and within your budget)

8 cloves of garlic, minced

16 fresh sage leaves, 12 chopped fine and 4 to tear over the chicken when it is finished)

2 med lemons

olive oil

salt and pepper

kitchen twine

6 med red potatoes, washed

Finely chop 12 sage leaves, (reserve the others for later) and put into a bowl. Add the minced garlic to the bowl, along with the zest of 1 lemon and juice of 1 lemon, add 1 T salt and 1-2 T of olive oil. Mix this together until it is somewhat combined.

Put the chicken on a cutting board and gently loosen the skin around the breasts, thighs and legs. With your fingers spread the sage mixture under the skin and you can massage it further down until it covers the chicken. (Do this as best as you can, sometimes the skin tears a little.) Tie the legs together and tie the wings together in the back. Rub a little olive oil over the skin. Wrap this in foil and put in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 1 hour before baking.

Place the chicken breast side up on a rack inserted into a roasting pan. Pour about 1/2 inch of water on the bottom of the pan. When the oven is ready bake the chicken for 20 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, slice the red potatoes in half lengthwise. Toss with a little bit of olive oil.

After 20 minutes, turn the chicken over to cook breast side down and add the potatoes to the pan. continue to cook for 40 minutes. Check the potatoes, if cooked then remove and keep warm.

After 40 minutes, turn the chicken breast side up and continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes.

Use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temp is 170 between the thigh and leg quarter. If done, remove to a clean cutting board and lightly tent with foil.

If the potatoes are still a little hard then turn the oven temp to 400 and continue to cook. Check after 10 minutes.

Have your platter ready and warm. Carve the chicken and place on the platter. Tear the rest of the sage leaves and put over the chicken. Thinly slice half a lemon and put the slices on top of the chicken and squeeze the other half over the chicken. If serving the potatoes, add them to the platter.



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