There is something about roasted chicken that does me in. Julia Child really had it right- vegetables, seasoning, lemon and butter. Ok I don't do the butter part with my Jew-ness in me. But that simply seasoned chicken, when roasted with the acid- I think it transports just about everyone back to a homey place. Sage, garlic, herbs de provence or even just salt and pepper. Bringing out the chicken's organic flavors. And what about the lemon juice, or chicken broth? These aromas really take me to a place that reminds me of family. There is nothing like sharing a perfectly tasty chicken with your loved ones around the table.
This chicken recipe of mine has a little more pizzaz to it than your basic roast chicken. I remember first being inspired to create something like this when I was reading through my first cook book that I ever owned- a Betty Crocker's Italian Cooking Cookbook. I remember this book being a source of inspiration for my earliest interests into my culinary adventures. It really covers all points of Italian cooking in a pretty basic (Americanized) way, but still. It triggered something in me. There was a chicken recipe in that book that paired chicken with artichokes and lemons. That was the basis for this.
This recipe adds some vegetables like onions, and artichokes and marries them with flavors like capers, lemon juice, and white wine. I also like to cook it for some time with the cover on, which allows the chicken meat to really tenderize and soften and then I finish it off by uncovering it to give the skin a beautiful color and crispy texture.
Have I convinced you? I thought so.
On that note, I want to be absurdly sappy for a moment. (Very unlike me) This coming Sunday night is the Jewish new year, and I'm pretty jewy. So I want to wish all of my readers, from whatever your background, whether it is your holiday or not, a happy and healthy new year filled with beautiful food. May it be surrounded by loved ones with crazy ridiculous stories. The best.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. (350 convection)
Take your oil and heat it in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add your onion, garlic, capers, parsley and ½ teaspoon of the salt and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add your artichokes, lemon juice and white wine and let simmer on low for an additional 4 minutes. Add an additional ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. Turn off the flame and set aside.
Now take your chicken pieces and lay them out in a large roasting pan. (This looks really beautiful when served in a nice oven to table dish or even a shallow Le Crusset pot). Spread your potato pieces throughout the pan. Then take your artichoke lemon sauce and pour it over your chicken and potatoes. Make sure all of the pieces have gotten some of the sauce. Feel free to go the extra mile and put on gloves to spread it around a little better. Set all the chicken pieces skin side up. If you are using lemon slices arrange a few on top of the chicken now.
Cover the chicken and cook covered for 1 hour. Remove the cover and cook for an additional 30- 45 minutes depending on how dark you like things. We are a crispy bunch in my house.
If you want to prep some stuff ahead, the artichoke sauce can be made the day before you intend to cook the chicken. Leave it in the pot you made it in and place it in the fridge overnight. When you are ready to cook the chicken, warm up the sauce and then continue with the recipe above.
Alternatively, you can cook the chicken for the 1 hour covered and only 20 minutes uncovered. When you are ready to serve rewarm the chicken uncovered for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.