Haven't done this in a while, have we? It's true, we haven't done much adventurous cooking in the last few weeks. Well, tonight we watched "Hilary and Jackie," which was too long, but beautiful and really heart-wrenching. Emily Watson is extremely talented; by the same token, I can't deny that I'm eager to see her play someone healthy and sane. (This was tame compared to "Breaking the Waves," but still.)
To eat, we had an interesting new take on roast chicken with stuffing:
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 large onions (2 lb.), halved lengthwise and sliced into half-moons [I used about 1 1/2 lb., which was plenty.]
2 cups sliced celery
2 tsp. minced lemon zest
1 3/4 tsp. + 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. + 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 3–4 lb. chicken, butterflied
1/2 loaf crusty French bread, sliced 3/4" thick
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 375.
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in 12" cast iron skillet* over medium heat. Add onions and celery and saute for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zest, 1 3/4 tsp. salt, garlic, 1/2 tsp. pepper, thyme, and red pepper; continue to saute until onions and celery are soft and transucent, about 5 more minutes; remove from heat. Stir in parsley and transfer to bowl.
Rub chicken on both sides with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and season with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Layer bread, onion, mixture, then chicken in pan. Pour lemon juice over chicken and roast, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours, or until golden brown.
Remove from oven; let stand for 10 minutes before cutting chicken into quarters. To serve, spoon some bread and vegetables onto each plate and top with chicken.
*If you don't have a cast iron skillet, by all means buy one! In the meantime, saute the veggies in a regular pan, then bake the whole thing in a lightly oiled glass or ceramic baking dish. Make sure it's not too big, as everything should be tucked in pretty snugly.