ROASTED CHICKEN WITH LEMON AND GARLIC
Simple, yummy, fancy enough for guests!
1 Roaster or Fryer Chicken, 2 1/2-3 pounds
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 large heads of Garlic, separated into cloves, unpeeled
3 sprigs fresh Rosemary, or 1 tablespoon dried Rosemary
Cooked Thin Spaghetti
You also need: One large covered Casserole dish
Remove the giblet package, rinse and dry the chicken.
Lightly salt and pepper the cavity, then pour in a tablespoon of olive oil and stuff in a handful of garlic and half the rosemary. Slice a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the cavity, then stuff in the lemon halves (Note: do not over-stuff-there should be some room in the cavity to allow for expansion during cooking.) Truss the chicken with butchers twine, and then brush it with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set the chicken breast side up in the casserole dish.
Flatten the remaining garlic cloves with the flat side of a heavy knife (do not chop or press the garlic!) and lay them over the chicken along with the remaining rosemary. Cut the other lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the chicken, and then toss the lemon halves into the casserole. The chicken is now ready for cooking; it can be refrigerated for up to two hours before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set the covered casserole in the bottom third of the oven. Let the chicken cook for an hour, then remove the casserole cover and turn the oven up to 450 degrees F. Roast uncovered for at least another half hour, or until chicken is done.
When the chicken is thoroughly cooked, take it from the oven and place on a platter. Cut off the trussing strings and remove the garlic from the chicken's cavity, putting the stuffing into the sauce remaining in the casserole dish. Place the chicken back into the turned-off oven, leaving the door ajar.
Cook the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. Press some of the juice from the garlic gloves and lemon halves. When the pasta has been cooked and drained, toss it in the sauce to coat it well. Carve the chicken. Serve each person a plate of the pasta and let them add the chicken themselves.
Instead of pasta, serve with cooked spinach.