1 fryer chicken (about 3½ lbs.)
salt and pepper
½ lemon, cut in 2 wedges
6 sprigs fresh thyme
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
¼ C. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, grated on a micro-plane
1 tsp. Meyer lemon zest
2 Tbsp. Meyer lemon juice
2 tsp. wildflower honey
⅓ C. extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Remove the package of gizzards from the cavity of the chicken. Pull out the fat pockets that are located on either side of the cavity opening. Tucked the wing tips under the chicken. Loosen the skin from the meat by working your fingers under the skin starting at the top of the bird. Season the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper, then place the lemon wedges and herbs inside. Set the bird in a roasting pan or casserole dish. Season the outside of the chicken with salt and pepper, and brush with the melted butter. Place in the middle of the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Brush with the remaining butter, turn the pan and return to the oven. Continue roasting for approximately an hour, depending upon the size of the bird. Chicken is done when the meat is starting to pull away from the drumstick and leg can be turned without a lot of resistance. Remove pan from the oven and set chicken on a cutting board. Allow to sit for 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle back into the chicken.
While the chicken is resting, make the gremolata. Stir together the parsley, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and honey with the olive oil. Season with salt and reserve. Take the pan that the chicken was roasted in and drain off any fat that may have accumulated in the bottom of the pan. Place the pan on top of the stove and place over high heat. Add a ½ c. of water to the pan and scrape up and brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the collected juices from carving the chicken and add to the pan. Reduce by half and add to the gremolata sauce. Spoon over the chicken and serve.
Enjoy with a glass of Cakebread Cellars Two Creeks Pinot Noir.