When I cook a whole chicken, it’s either in the oven or in the crockpot. How about in a skillet! Judi, our lovely CEO, does it like Ina Garten! And boy, does this look delicious! Judi does modify it just a tad so I’ve added those changes within the recipe. I can just smell this recipe now!
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2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds (Judi does not add this ingredient)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 lemon, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced (Judi is not shy when it comes to the garlic!)
1 (4-pound) chicken, backbone removed and butterflied
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
Juice of 1 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Place the thyme, fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a mini food processor and process until ground. Pour the olive oil into a small glass measuring cup, stir in the herb mixture, and set aside. (Judi doesn’t use a food processor – she minces the fresh thyme AND adds parsley as well)
- Distribute the lemon slices in a 12-inch cast iron skillet (Judi uses a deep saute pan instead) and distribute the onion and garlic (again, don’t be shy with the garlic) on top. Place the chicken, skin side down, on top of the onion and brush with about half the oil and herb mixture. Turn the chicken skin side up, pat it dry with paper towels (very important!), and brush it all over with the rest of the oil and herb mixture.
- Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Pour the wine into the pan (not on the chicken!) and roast for another 10 to15 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 155 to 160 degrees. (Judi cooks the chicken on the stove with a lid on her pan for 20-30 minutes and then, browns it in the oven for 35-40 minutes)
- Remove the chicken from the oven, sprinkle it with the lemon juice, cover the skillet tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut the chicken in quarters or eighths, sprinkle with salt, and serve hot with the pan juices, cooked lemon, and onion.