Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Balsamic Chicken with Garlic and Rosemary

An evening of thunderstorms had us roasting chicken indoors, and this Italian-inspired recipe hit the spot. As much as I love bacon, I seldom eat it. When I do, it’s the delicious, natural, uncured, nitrate free kind my mother and grandmother cooked. And as my mother and grandmother did, I strain and save the bacon fat so I can make delicious meals like this one. This chicken can be served warm or at room temperature, and it’s a wonderful main dish for summer salads and side dishes.

1 3½ - 5lb. whole chicken, halved, backbone removed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, rosemary or unflavored
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup good quality balsamic vinegar
Lots of peeled whole garlic cloves (halve if very large)
Fresh rosemary sprigs
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
4 slices of pancetta, or 4 Tbs. bacon fat

1. Preheat oven to 375 . Drizzle roasting pan with olive oil, then stir in balsamic vinegar and wine.

2. Stir garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs into mixture.

3. Wash chicken well. Discard giblets (or save for another use). If you use them, insert pop-up timers into chicken breasts. Place chicken halves skin side up in roasting pan to coat bottom with mixture, the turn skin side down. Distribute garlic and rosemary evenly around chicken.

4. Bake for 45 minutes. Turn chicken skin side up. Baste with pan juices and sprinkle with lemon juice. Lay pancetta, if using, over chicken, or dot chicken with bacon fat. Cook another hour or so, basting once or twice, until chicken is well browned and timers pop up.

5. Enjoy!
Balsamic Chicken with Garlic and Rosemary, Greek Bean Salad, and Steamed Broccoli

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