More than beef, more than pork and even more than fish, it seems that chicken is an ingredient you can never, ever have enough recipes for. It pairs so well with, well, almost everything.
One of my easiest chicken recipes involves stuffing the cavity with an onion, an orange and a lemon and topping with simple herbs and spices - mainly, fresh ground pepper, lemon garlic, fresh minced garlic, rosemary or thyme and salt. I choose my herbs by opening the cupboard and using whatever I feel like at the time.
One of my all time favorite ways to eat chicken is fried. I love the crispy breading on foods more than the foods themselves! Just using bread crumbs, smashed seasoned croutons, crumbled grain cereals, flour, etc. you can bread a boneless skinless breast in almost anything and it will turn out incredible.
This recipe combines two of my loves; the lemon chicken flavor with the croutons I love. The difference in it that surprised me was roasting the onion a bit beforehand to give it a different flavor (sweet and amazing!) instead of roasting the chicken with it inside the cavity. The other twist on this version is using the croutons under the chicken instead of smashing them and breading it. See what you think!
Lemon Chicken with Croutons
1 whole roasting chicken
1 large yellow onion, sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, quartered
2 T butter, melted
1 baguette or other dry bread cubed to 6 cups tiny cubes
Rinse the inside and outside of the chicken, removing any giblets. Briefly saute' the onion in a bit of oil in the bottom of the roasting pan while you sprinkle the inside of the chicken cavity with salt and pepper. Place the lemons inside the chicken. Pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels, brush it with the melted butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on the onions in the pan. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.
Roast for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear. Cover with foil and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
To make the croutons;
Heat a large saute pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until very hot. Lower the heat to low and saute the bread cubes, tossing frequently, until nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add more olive oil, as needed, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the croutons on a serving platter. Slice the chicken and place it, plus all the pan juices, over the croutons. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm.