Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken

Delicious roast chicken recipes like this one are keepers.  Although the preparation is simple it still takes a little over an hour from start to finish.  Remember to wipe the skin on the chicken with paper towels before applying the oil and the herbs or your chicken skin won't be as beautiful, golden and crisp as Ina's.  I like to serve this with soft polenta and a salad.

Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken
Adapted from Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp whole fennel seeds
1 Tblsp salt
1 Tblsp pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1 lemon, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 yellow onion, halved lengthwise and sliced (or a leek)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 lb chicken, butterflied (ask your butcher to do this)
1/2 cup dry white wine
Juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a small food processor, combine the thyme, fennel, salt and pepper.  Process until ground. Add the olive oil, pulse briefly and set aside.

Cover the bottom of a large cast iron skillet with lemon and onion slices, add the garlic. Place the chicken, skin side down on top. Brush with half the oil and herb mixture. Flip the chicken and dry the skin with a paper towel. Apply the remaining oil and herb mixture to the skin.

Roast 30 minutes.  Pour the wine into the bottom of the pan (not on the chicken) and roast another 15 minutes until a meat thermometer registers 155 degrees in the thickest part of the breast.

Remove the chicken from the oven, squeeze the lemon over it and cover tightly with aluminum foil.  Let rest for 10-15 minutes.  Cut the chicken into pieces and serve with pan juices.