Roast Lemon Chicken with Rosemary and New Potatoes, and Balsamic Carrots & Beets


I was guilted (by myself) tonight into making a proper Sunday dinner – seeing as I’ll be away next weekend, and the week is quickly closing in like that garbage compactor in the original Star Wars, with me thigh-deep in sludge desperately trying to wedge something in there to buy more time (Princess Leia isn’t so glamorous after all), I felt somewhat obligated to feed the boys properly before I go.

What, I haven’t told you? I’m going to VEGAS! Not only that, I’m going to Vegas WITH 18 GIRLS (one of whom went to see Pretty in Pink with John Cusack, so really with only two degrees of separation, it’s kind of like I’m almost going to Vegas with JC himself. Think we’ll get married?) for a sort of collective 40th birthday party (not mine) and I’m bringing you along, of course. We leave on Friday around dinnertime. VEGAS!! I’ve never been. I’m currently researching best food locales so that I can avoid buffets and maximize dineros and vacation calories – any suggestions are more than welcome.

I had picked up a chicken at the farmers’ market and was about to toss it into my usual cast iron skillet, rub it with my usual canola oil, stuff with my usual half lemon and garlic cloves, sprinkle with my usual S&P and just roast it, when I thought I might be able to do one better. I consulted Jamie. My sister, I’ve heard, makes legendary roast chicken using his recipe, and I thought he might know a thing or two I don’t. I imagine in his library of books there lives more than one roast chicken recipe, but this is the one I came across first. It instructs parboiling the potatoes (I used new ones, some so small they were the size of large peas) along with an entire lemon (which infuses the potatoes as they simmer) then taking them off the heat after 10 minutes, jabbing the lemon all over with a fork and jamming it into the cavity, which allows for better lemon infusion and steaming from the inside (this also works for cleaning microwaves). I did thus. It was fantastic.

It was a largeish bird, and I roasted it at 375F, as Jamie instructed (but which I usually crank it to anyway). You want to pat it dry before rubbing it down with soft butter, oil, or both; any moisture will keep the skin from getting crispy. Salt and pepper is all it needs up top, and the cooked, jabbed lemon (which will release more juice) and a few garlic cloves or a whole head -cut in half- stuffed inside.

After 45 minutes or an hour, pull it out and tuck the potatoes around the bird in the pan, rolling them around a bit to coat in the drippings, and adding a sprig or two of rosemary if you like. My cast iron barely accommodated them, which was not ideal – in order for things to brown, they mustn’t be crowded. But I already put the chicken in there, and I didn’t feel like washing it.

Once the potatoes are in you can let it go for another half hour to an hour, or until a joint wiggles easily and the juices run clear. Try not to pick all the crispy skin off and eat it yourself – save some for the family, for crying out loud.

To go with, there were roasted beets in the fridge (left over from a salad) and so I threw some teeny carrots into the potato water and simmered them for a few minutes, then threw them in a pan with chunked beets, some butter, a drizzle of honey and balsamic vinegar, heated through to a glaze.

All told this was easier (and yummier) than the dinner I made for company on Saturday, which took the better part of an afternoon and which was sadly nothing to write home about (except for the pandowdy, which I assembled in approximately five minutes after dinner).

VEGAS BABY! I’m more excited about access to foreign chocolate bars than the slots.

One Year Ago: Maple Brown & Wild Rice Pudding with Dried Cranberries


About Julie

You May Also Like

27 comments on “Roast Lemon Chicken with Rosemary and New Potatoes, and Balsamic Carrots & Beets

  1. LisaGee
    September 7, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Yum. I just finished supper, but your post made me hungry again! I think I need to make this next weekend…

  2. LisaMer
    September 7, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    I really want to get to Vegas. Maybe it will be my post-weaning destination! 😉

    Every time I see beets at the market, I think of your recipes, but I’m the only one who likes beets at my house. =(

    I made corn chowder and cheddar biscuits tonight. Soooo yummy!

  3. Kim @ Fist Full of Dandelions
    September 7, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    This looks way better that what I fixed for dinner tonight (well, truth be told any night this weekend)!

  4. Beryl
    September 7, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Two words, Joel Robuchon. Two more words, Michael Mina. Both restaurants are not to be missed. Have a great trip!

  5. Erica B.
    September 7, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    I saw the episode where Oliver does roast chicken, makes it look “easy peasy” as he says. I’ve always been intimidated by anything larger than an individual piece. (T does the thanksgiving Turkey and all things grilled around here) Roast chicken is on my rather expansive “learn to make ___” list.

    It all looks beautiful Julie, and I’m sure you could have served that to last night’s company – although if they were coming to my house I’d probably get all freaked and spend three days making a menu out of Julia’s Art of French Cooking or some such.

    Enjoy Vegas baby! Heh we did it with all three kids (and MIL) two years ago in May. Non food advice: If where you’re going is “just next door” plan on a 15 or so minute walk since a lot of places take up whole city blocks.

    Food suggestions: upscale casual (ie pricy but worth it) Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay: Dinner I wish I made it to: Bouchon – while technically a chain and not the newest and most popular its Keller 🙂

    Can’t wait for pix 🙂

  6. Cheryl
    September 7, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Vegas? Man, no recommendations here, I’ve never been. Don’t forget to hit Chowhound and see what you find.

    I’ll settle for roast chicken, yum!

  7. Nicole Kammerer
    September 7, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    U are going to have a blast in Vegas…definitely try B&B batali’s place.

    Bon Voyage!!

  8. Theresa
    September 7, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    I’m pretty sure the Black Eyed Peas are opening for U2 in Vegas…….. maybe the week you’re there????

  9. Elsbeth
    September 7, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Hubby’s hockey team went to Vegas (can you spell trainwreck?) but he returned with high praise for The Earl of Sandwich (in Planet Hollywood, I think) and – for an obnoxiously sized breakfast – Hash House A GoGo. Seriously. The pictures are a scream. Have a great time!

  10. Aimee
    September 8, 2009 at 2:47 am

    Have fun! Glad the whole passport thing worked out.

  11. Corine
    September 8, 2009 at 6:11 am

    You absolutely HAVE to go to Maggiano’s. It’s in the Fashion Show Mall on the second level (access is from outside). They are inexpensive (compared to all the other restaurants in Vegas) and serve THE best Mojitos in Vegas. They also have a Family Style Lunch and Dinner for minimum of 4 people. I’m attaching the link to the website for you to have a look. Hands down, probably the best restaurant I’ve been to in Vegas.

  12. rea
    September 8, 2009 at 6:20 am

    you’ll be posting cocktail recipes and taking pictures of all the pretty signs?

  13. Chelsey
    September 8, 2009 at 7:08 am

    Just a quick recomendation for VEGAS. Definitely go eat at the Mix…its a beautiful restaruant at the top of “The Hotel” at Mandalay Bay. Amazing food and incredible views of the strip. and definitly try out the lounge. its one of my fav spots in Vegas.

  14. Diana
    September 8, 2009 at 8:31 am

    Don’t really have any recommendations about where to eat, but someone at work just got back and said the outdoor rest. at Paris across from the Bellagio fountains was very good and reasonably priced. However, please do not miss watching the Bellagio fountains, especially at night, a favorite of mine, and also go see the flower/plant conservatory inside Bellagio. Really nice. And both are free!!

  15. Sue (London, ON)
    September 8, 2009 at 8:42 am

    I just bought two chickens on sale on the weekend – good timing Julie! Thanks.
    And once again I’m looking forward to living vicariously through you – never been to Vegas but would like to get there someday.
    Have a blast!

  16. Jill
    September 8, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Too funny about you looking forward to the chocolate bars. When I travel to the USA, I too love picking up a selection of chocolate bars that we can’t get here. My co-workers think I’m nuts. Buy yourself a KitKat, they’re not quite the same as here. Of course, I think the Canadian version is much better.

  17. Kayla
    September 8, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Have fun in Vegas! The restaurant across from the Bellagio is called “Mon Ami Gabi” and is inside Paris. It is very reasonable and the food was quite good!

  18. Fiona
    September 8, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    All I can say about American chocolate is that if you have the chance to pick up Trader Joe’s mini peanut butter cups, take it. I haven’t been to Vegas, so I have no idea about the food, but are you not bound by law to try an all-you-can-eat buffet somewhere during your stay?

  19. Angela Brassinga
    September 8, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    I was in Vegas last summer and had some great meals. Here are 2 favorites:
    Mon Ami Gabi in Paris, sit outside if you can and order the frites. We sat inside and loved the place and our meal but outside is great fun for people watching.

    Bradley Ogden’s in Caesar’s Palace was divine, especially dessert! We enjoyed a late dinner after seeing Bette Midler

    If you’re looking for something a little crazy but great fun take a cab ride to the Liberace Museum … I’m not kidding. It was a highlight. If you go, make sure you go to all the buildings. Cars, pianos, costumes, and some of the oldest docents you’ll ever meet but they LOVE him.

    Have a blast!

  20. Sophie
    September 9, 2009 at 6:58 am

    What a delightful plate of fine home food!! I love every part of it!!


  21. Anonymous
    September 9, 2009 at 7:05 am

    Have a blast. I love Vegas, and there are so many great dining options!

    Definitely Bouchon at the Venetian. Not as expensive as Joel Robuchon, and just as tasty.

    Also, for quick & cheap, the creperie in Paris is great for breakfast and lunch.

    Drinks, Tai Tai’s at the back of the Imperial Palace casino. A cocktail with a fruit salad perched on top.

    The chicken looks fantastic, and so yummy. Hubs has been asking to ressurect Sunday night roast chicken now that fall is in the air. Eeep! It was crisp this morning!

  22. RMB
    September 9, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    I was a bit disappointed by the food the last time I went to Vegas (Feb. 08). Vegas used to be known for cheap but good food. Now it seems to be expensive and not very good. However, Delmonico Steakhouse, which is an Emeril restaurant, was fabulous. I have never had such great service and our meal was delicious — the calamari and ChateauBriand. The Kunde merlot (if you like merlot) is a must. Pricey but worth it!
    Other gotta do things:
    Downtown Vegas to see the “Fremont Show Experience”.
    Outlet malls for shopping.
    Venetian to see the canals. (I didn’t do the gondola ride, so not sure if it is worth it.)
    And just walking around any time, day or night, is a lot of fun.
    I would be jealous, but I’m going to SF for a girl’s weekend (and Ghiradelli’s!)

  23. H.Peter
    September 9, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Vegas. So much to eat, so little time.

    Time pemitting, it is always great to get a rental car for a day and get off the strip.

    My favorites:

    Best Ribs:
    Best Italian:
    Best Tacos: La Bonita Market (no web)

    All are off the Strip but not too far.

    Buffets are not all bad. Paris Hotel or M Resort are my favorites.

  24. Lana
    September 9, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Vegas? Food?
    All I remember from Vegas was the booze you could buy right out on the street and carry around with you. Mind you, we rolled into “the strip” around midnight so dinner time was pretty much over. We DID, however, find an upstairs diner serving prime rib sandwiches until 4 am. The name escapes me…must be because of the aforementioned booze on the street…
    Have a blast!

  25. Lisa
    September 10, 2009 at 8:33 am

    I second the recs for the Bouchon cafe/bakery in the Venetian — lousy service but great breakfast, and for Mix, the Alain Ducasse restaurant at the top of the Mandalay Bay tower — went there for my 30th birthday. The buffets at the Wynn are actually fun since the property is so beautiful. I haven’t been since its sister property, the Encore, opened. The Bellagio is nice, too. You’ll burn off a ton of calories walking from one end of the strip to the other, or even just within your hotel down the incredibly long corridor to your room, so bring/wear good walking shoes!!

  26. Virginia
    September 11, 2009 at 8:19 am

    First time on your website…….certainly not the last! Found it looking for roasted tomatoes and find incredible treasures, too. Although a little pricey, the only buffet that is a must is at Bellagio’s. Because you will definitely go there to see the fountains and the atrium anyway, plan to have lunch there one day……… is phenomenal!

  27. Brigid
    September 15, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Thanks to you I successfully roasted my first chicken yesterday without anyone (mum or dad) holding my hand (I was a veggie until 3 years ago). Made the entire menu and everyone loved it. Made your tomato and corn pie tonight which hit the spot after my boot camp.
    Sounds like you are busy. Hope you get a chance to relax soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.