By Scott Koeneman / Fight theFatFoodie.com
I was almost out of chicken stock. What, you ask, does that have to do with a Rosemary Chicken recipe? I needed a chicken carcass, that's what. I know some people make stock from the whole chicken, but doing so renders the meat inedible. That just seems so wasteful to me.
So, whenever I need to replenish my stock I buy one or two whole chickens, make something with them and save the bones. I love making my own stock (versus broth) because you get so much more flavor and smoothness than with store-bought broth. To make stock, I take the carcass or bones, roast them at 350F until they are a rich brown, combine them with veggies and whatever herbs and spices strike my fancy at the moment, cover with water and simmer until a a flavorful stock comes to life, usually several hours. I strain it several times, chill it, remove any fat that collects on the surface, put it into containers and freeze it.
By the way, I feel the same way about the veggies as I do the chicken. I save my castoffs, peelings, end pieces, etc, in a bag in a freezer and toss it all in with the bones and water. No two batches are ever exactly the same, but all are wonderful!
Whole chicken in hand, I put together this version of Rosemary Chicken with a wonderful lemon front flavor. I made it in a cast-iron skillet, one of my favorite kitchen implements, but any oven-safe skillet will work.
While this dish is fairly simply it has incredibly satisfying and, if you remove the skin, a 6-ounce serving of chicken and a serving of potatoes is only 235 calories with 3 grams of fat and 1 of fiber.
Cast-Iron Rosemary Chicken
Makes 6 servings
1 pound baby red potatoes, halved
4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 whole sprig rosemary and 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
3 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 lemons, halved
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chicken stock
1 whole chicken (about 3 pounds) cut into 8 pieces
Preheat oven to 450F
In a medium saucepan, cover potatoes with cold water and 2 teaspoons salt, bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until just tender. Drain and set potatoes aside.
Combine rosemary leaves, garlic, remaining salt and red pepper flakes in a mortar and crush into a paste. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, chop garlic and leaves, combine with salt and pepper flakes and, using the side of your knife, and crush into paste. In a large bowl, combine the paste with the juice of 1 lemon (save the lemon after you juice it), chicken stock, olive oil and chicken pieces. Turn the chicken until it is coated.
Heat your skillet over medium-high heat and add the chicken, skin side down. Cover and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken, add the potatoes, the juice of the second lemon, the rosemary sprig and all four squeezed lemon halves. Place in the oven and roast until the chicken is cooked, 45 minutes to 1 hour.