While I certainly don’t maintain a diet even remotely close to Whole 30 or Paleo, I do appreciate having meals that target similar ingredients used in these lifestyle-based diets. I chose to share this recipe first simply because it’s never out of place at the table; whether it be a formal gathering, a celebration, a weeknight dinner, or casual BBQ, this self basting chicken will bode well on your offering that meal.
3-4 pound whole chicken, preferably organic
Quality salt, such as grey or Himalayan sea salt
Two rather small organic lemons
You’ll want to set aside at least two hours for this dish, but I promise it’ll be worth it.
Make sure your chicken is completely thawed, bonus points if you’re able to leave it at room temperature for an hour before prepping. Remove anything in the bird’s cavity and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Let the chicken sit in the sink for a few minutes in order to drain any excess liquid.
While the bird is sitting, preheat your oven to 350. Then grab your lemons and roll on the countertop with your palm in order to get the most juice out of them, and puncture each lemon about 30 times with a toothpick. Set aside
Take a paper towel and pat any remaining water off the bird. Set your chicken on whatever dish/pan you plan to use in the oven and drop those lemons in the empty cavity. There’s absolutely no need to grease, oil, butter, or whatever other adjective you can think of using; do not grease the pan.
Next, sew up the opening tightly enough that it’s enclosed, but not airtight or else it may burst. I just use a handful of toothpicks and thread them through the additional skin, but all the better if you have a more professional means of doing so.
You’ll then want to liberally cover the entire chicken in salt and pepper, leaving the chicken breast side down on your pan. Keep the salt and pepper out as you’ll need them again shortly.
Place your bird in the preheated oven for thirty minutes. Then turn the chicken to be breast up, liberally apply more salt and pepper, and leave in the oven for an additional 30 minutes (we’re at one hour now).
At the one hour mark, set your timer for 30 minutes, at which point you’ll turn your oven up to 400 degrees and cook for an additional 20 minutes per pound the chicken weighs in at. If you have a three pound bird, you’ll cook for up to an hour longer. Of course, each oven varies, so don’t hesitate to check the internal temperature of the chicken before that point if you feel it’s cooked through.
Present the bird whole at the table, leaving the lemons inside as you carve it. The juices that run out are great when spooned over your meal. Careful not to squeeze the lemons as they do have juice and will likely squirt.
I’d love to hear how you incorporated this into a meal!