How many fantastic food combinations can you think of? Meatloaf and mashed potatoes? Burgers and fries? Macaroni and cheese? What about chicken an croutons? Didn’t make your list? Well, after trying this recipe, I’m pretty sure this will be a new favorite combination. It certainly is in my house. Plus, it’s from one of my all-time favorites, Ina Garten, a.k.a. Barefoot Contessa. Everything she cooks and bakes is simply flawless!
This chicken is so savory and delicious, perfectly juicy with a hint of lemon. As good as the chicken is, the croutons are where the real magic happens. They are crunchy on the outside, wonderfully chewy on the inside, and when combined with the carmellized onions and juices from the chicken, my goodness, you may never again roast a chicken without croutons!
This recipe is not only a terrific family dinner, but would also be a memorable date night dinner. It is easy to prepare, beautiful, and delicious. It has absolutely become a go-to Sunday dinner those days our creative juices are running a bit slowly or we just want a comforting meal we know everyone will love. We just call it “Ina’s Chicken”.
I have adapted Ina’s recipe to my family’s tastes just a bit. One lemon instead of two, for no overtly lemony flavor.
Enjoy a new flavor combination!
LEMON ROASTED CHICKEN WITH CROUTONS
(Adapted from Barefoot Contessa, as seen on Food Network)
1 5-6 lb chicken
1 lemon, cut into quarters or eighths
1 very large or 2 medium yellow onions
1 loaf crusty bread (I like sourdough, you could also use a baguette)
2 T butter
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425F.
Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Season the inside of the chicken cavity well with salt and pepper. Stuff the inside with the pieces of lemon. If you wish, tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
Peel and slice the onion(s) very thin. Put the sliced onions in a roasting pan. Pour 2 T olive oil over the onions, and stir (I use my hands) to distribute evenly. Lightly salt and pepper the onions. Place the chicken on top the onions. Rub the butter over the chicken skin. Salt and Pepper generously.
Place the prepared chicken and onions into the oven. Roast for 90 minutes or until juices run clear, and skin is golden. Onions will look burnt at this point, but trust, they are fantastic! Let chicken rest while you prepare croutons.
Cut bread into 3/4-1″ cubes. Heat a large sauté pan on the stove. Pour in 2-3 T olive oil. When oil shimmers, add bread cubes. Crisp the cubes in the pan for 8-10 minutes, adding more oil as necessary. I usually add about 2 additional Tablespoons when the pan is dry and the cubes begin to blacken a bit.
Pour cubes into serving dish. Place the carmellized onions on top.
Slice the chicken and place atop the onions. Pour pan juices over the whole dish. There shouldn’t be more than 1/2-3/4 c of juices. But they are necessary.