An overabundance of lemons got Johnnycakes and I to thinking about what we could make for dinner that would incorporate the sour fruit and whatever meat we had in our near empty freezer. As you can probably tell, we have been grilling almost every night so the chicken roaster in the freezer was feeling quite neglected. Luckily, roasted lemon chicken is one of our favorites!
I defrosted the 3 1/4 lb. bird overnight. Before work this morning, I rinsed and pat dried the bird and proceeded to marinate. I rubbed the chicken in salt, olive oil, lemon juice and fresh rosemary. I made sure to stuff the chest cavity with the lemon rinds for extra flavoring.
We had planned to roast the bird in the oven but around 4 p.m. I got to thinking about putting a Summertime slant on the meal and grilling the chicken instead. Luckily, Johnnycakes is an expert deboner thanks to his Colombian heritage and a family Thanksgiving tradition that involves taking all the bones out of the turkey before stuffing it with various meats and spices. Johnnycakes was up for the deboning since it meant he got to use the grill. He removed the spine of the bird using kitchen shears and flattened the bird so it would fit on the grill.
Unfortunately, we didn't pay close enough attention to the meat while it was cooking and it got a little "toasty". We also decided to grill some tomatoes since, like the lemons, we had lots leftover from our July 4th bash. We sliced the tomatoes and let it marinate in lemon juice (of course!), olive oil, fresh basil, salt and pepper. We then grilled them for a few minutes on each side and topped them w/ about a tablespoon of crumbled Gorgonzola cheese. To round out this colorful meal with some leftover corn on the cob with cilantro lime butter.
The best thing about preparing the whole chicken is that you can sample both light and dark meat and really enjoy both flavors. I ate a wing with a bit of the blackened skin and part of a chicken breast while Johnnycakes enjoyed a drumstick and thigh and some breast. The lemon flavor and aroma was prevalent throughout this summertime meal.
Another great thing about whole chicken is the leftovers! We are both going to have chicken sandwiches for lunch tomorrow with more fresh tomato and mayonnaise. Mmm...