My Juicy Lemon Sage Chicken recipe is what I would call can “enhancer” recipe. We’re not creating anything new here, we’re just preserving and bringing out the best flavors that are already present in this top-quality product. If you are lucky enough to have the possibility to source your poultry from a local butcher, it will make all of the difference. The little bird that we managed to find at Direct Producteurs in Menilles sold us a 1 kilo 200 gram bird for around 12 euros. It might have been 3 or 4 euros more than we would have paid at a large-chain distributor. But this bird came straight from the farm, delivered to the store only a day earlier. This is a recipe that ensures a super moist roasted chicken every time you make it. Impossible to fail! If you don’t believe me, you’ll have to try for yourself.
Here’s our product line up: Olive Oil, Sea Salt, Whole Milk, Fresh Sage, Garlic, Cinnamon, Lemons and Pepper.
Step one: Fry your chicken in a casserole that fits your chicken. Trying to do this in a casserole that is a size too big is like trying to walk in shoes that are a size too big. Put a nice splash of olive oil in the bottom of the pan, and turn the burner on medium to high-heat. Insert the chicken. You can cover the pot with a splatter cover if the oil is popping too much. Be careful that the oil is not too hot and that the chicken doesn’t burn. Quick, turn your bird and cook the next side! You need to turn your chicken frequently in order to fry it evenly and obtain a nice golden color everywhere. If your casserole fits your chicken, you’ll be able to prop it up easily to cook the sides, back, legs, etc. For this I used a vintage bright orange and red Le Creuset casserole. Thanks, Flo for the awesome pot that you never used because it’s now my best friend! A Le Creuset casserole pot will literally last a lifetime. My obsession with them is probably on par with my Mauviel Copper Pot obsession (no, I don’t own one, so for now I’ll continue to pretend that I’m Julia Childs….) You practically need to take out a mortgage to afford them but aren’t they just stunning… Yikes, we got off topic, make sure you keep turning your chicken!
Keep turning! Okay, good. Looks like your chicken is just about brown all over. Time to remove the pot from the burner.
Now pour all of the grease out of the pan and return your chicken to his pot.
Pour in the milk, sprinkle the sea salt over the chicken, add in the whole garlic cloves, the lemon zest, the cinnamon and pepper, and the handful of fresh sage leaves. If you don’t have an herb garden now is the perfect time to stop by a nursery and pick up some different fresh herb plants. Lucky for me, (and it wasn’t planned) we had just picked up a lovely sage plant last week. I was happy to put him to good use in this exciting enhancer recipe. Here’s my bird after frying and before going in the oven:
Cover the pot (very important!) and place in the oven at 190C or 375F for 1 hour 15 minutes for about a 1.2 kilo bird. I recommend this recipe for 1.5 kilo birds or less (it will serve 4 people with no leftovers). Any larger than that, and it will be too cumbersome to fry ahead of the roasting stage. Every 15 minutes, use a Baster to wet the skin with the milk. If you don’t have a baster, (don’t feel bad, I didn’t either) a soup spoon will also do the trick, just don’t burn yourself on the casserole like I did. Oops.
Around the 1 hour point, your house should start smelling wonderfully and I guarantee you, all of your guests will be shockingly impressed at just how moist and delicious your chicken is!
I served this with fresh steamed spinach and a baked potato that I cooked in the oven at the same time as the chicken. It would also go well with a side of rice and carrots for example. Make sure you have about one cup of starch, one deck-of-cards sized protein portion and one veggie (as much as you like); those are reasonable portions. My goal with Full Fat Diet is not to transform your eating habits, but to coax you in the right direction to make the right choices about how you cook your food, where you get your food from, and what you decide to cook. Food is not the enemy, nor is fat. And on that note, cheers! Let’s not let this gorgeous chicken get cold!