Leave it to me to choose one of the hottest days of the season to cook a huge, hours-long dinner in my AC-less kitchen. But once I made my mind up to spend a Saturday trying out new recipes in honor of a belated anniversary dinner, I simply couldn’t be swayed to do otherwise. Fortunately, the centerpiece of the meal was a fairly easy fix, requiring a minimal amount of time spent over a hot stove (or, rather, a hot crockpot).
I saw this recipe ages ago and put it on the back burner (no pun intended) until I found the perfect occasion to try it out. And seeing as last week was the celebration of our four-year anniversary, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by.
Somehow, in all my years of cooking, I’ve never managed to prepare an entire chicken at once—until Saturday, that is—so I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to clean, season, stuff and cook such a flavorful dish. Of course, all the flavor came from the roasted garlic, fresh-cut lemons and fresh sprigs of rosemary—ingredients that combined to make a succulent (and slightly tangy) main course that was perfect for an almost-fall meal.
Try out the recipe below for your next big dinner party or special at-home date (and don’t forget to save some of the savory juices to spoon over your side dishes—I recommend homemade garlic mashed potatoes!).
Roasted Garlic, Lemon + Rosemary Chicken
Servings: 4 (Recipe adapted from No. 2 Pencil)
2-3 heads of garlic
1 whole 4 to 5-pound chicken
Fresh rosemary (or any fresh herbs)
All-purpose steak seasoning (or salt and pepper)
1. Cut ends off of 3 lemons, then cut lemons and 2 garlic heads in half. Layer on bottom of slow cooker, adding a sprig or two of rosemary.
2. Remove insides from chicken, then rinse chicken and pat dry.
3. Season chicken well, inside and out, with all-purpose steak seasoning or salt and pepper.
4. Lay chicken on top of garlic and lemon slices, then stuff with 1 garlic head cut in half and 1 lemon cut in quarters.
5. Slice 1 lemon, then cover top of chicken with lemon slices and additional rosemary.
6. Turn slow cooker to high, and cook for about 4 hours, or until chicken reaches 165 F.
7. When chicken has reached 165 F, turn off slow cooker and let chicken rest for about 15 minutes.
8. Remove chicken from slow cooker, carve and serve. Strain slow cooker liquid and serve over chicken.