It came from my friend Laura Lane, an ace reporter at The Herald-Times here in Bloomington. She loves it, as was obvious by the fact that she rattled off the recipe as if she'd made it a thousand times. She said the croutons just soak up all the tasty juices. Now that I've made it, I will say also that the onion got a little crispy, and the lemons really made the chicken moist, tender, and flavorful. Yum!
Lemon chicken with sourdough croutons (serves 4)
a 3-1/2-pound chicken, rinsed and patted dry
salt and pepper, to taste
2 lemons, quartered
1 onion, sliced into rings
3-4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 cups of cut-up sourdough -- mine were three or four times the size of salad croutons
1.) Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. (I did the outside, too.) Stuff the cavity with the lemon pieces.
2.) Put the onion on the bottom of a baking dish, and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Put the chicken on top. Roast at 425 degrees for about 1-1/2 hours, or until the thickest part of the thigh registers 180-185 degrees on a meat thermometer. I basted it a little during cooking.
3.) Cover the chicken with foil, and let it rest for 15 minutes while preparing the croutons.
4.) Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet until quite hot. Add the bread, and saute, adding more olive oil if needed, and sprinke with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
5.) Put the browned croutons on the bottom of a serving platter, and place the roast chicken on top with the onions and juices.
Fun fact: The chicken I bought today was a fresh Amish one. And, according to this 2006 Washington Post article, Elkhart and LaGrange counties in Indiana -- north of where I live and near the Michigan border -- are "home to 25,000 Old Order Amish, making it the group's third-largest U.S. settlement (after Lancaster, Pa., and Holmes County, Ohio)."
It goes on to say that the Old Order Amish was founded as a small group in Switzerland and migrated to the U.S. in the early 18th century.
All I can add is that they raise fine chickens.
Coming up soon: Warm red cabbage, chestnut puree, and white bean soup with ham.