Star-Bulletin Features

Sunday, December 16, 2001



Spices in the belly of the
bird create a tasty
Mediterranean flavor

By Barbara Burke
Special to the Star-Bulletin

"Food and Wine Magazine's Quick from Scratch Chicken Cookbook" (American Express, 2001, $14.95)


Whether you are looking for an elegant entree for a sit-down Christmas dinner or delicious finger food for your favorite holiday bowl game, this cookbook offers it all -- fast and easy.

Each recipe was developed with the idea that it would be a satisfying main dish, needing, if anything, only the addition of a totally no-fuss accompaniment, such as a salad or bread. Large, full-cover photographs and wine pairings are offered for every dish.

In the following recipe, lemon zest and rosemary placed in the cavity of the bird permeate the meat as it cooks, and yield pan juices with a subtle Mediterranean accent. The recipe calls for a tablespoon of dried rosemary, but if you have access to fresh, use several sprigs.

Suggested side dishes include roasted vegetables or a starch, such as rice, polenta or mashed potatoes. A simple red wine, such as Chianti, goes well with this aromatic dish.

Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon

1 chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 3-inch-long strips of lemon zest
1 small onion, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rub the cavity of the chicken with the dried rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and then stuff with the strips of lemon zest and the quartered onion. Twist the wings behind the back of the chicken, and tie the legs together. Put the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan. Coat the chicken with the oil, and sprinkle it with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and the 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

Roast the chicken until it is just done, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer the bird to a plate, and leave to rest in a warm spot for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour off the fat from the roasting pan. Set the pan over moderate heat, and add the water. Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any brown bits. Boil until reduced to approximately 1/4 cup, about 4 minutes. Add any accumulated juices from the chicken along with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Serve the bird with the pan juices. Serves 6.

Health hint: Discard the chicken skin before eating, and the fat and calories will be significantly reduced.

Nutritional information unavailable.

Barbara Burke is a Hawaii Pacific University instructor who teaches and writes about food and nutrition. Her reviews of cookbooks of local interest run every two weeks. Contact her at Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813; or e-mail

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