This 4 ingredient roast chicken is one of my all-time favorite dinner party staples because it comes together in minutes and tastes like it came straight from a restaurant rotisserie. And I always say, two birds is better than one. Looks very Medieval King’s table, if you ask me. Do al of thel prep the day before and pop it in the oven an hour before guests are set to arrive.
- two 4-5 lb. whole chickens
- 3 large leeks, white and light green parts only
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 lemons
- salt & pepper
- olive oil
- Prep the chicken: Chop all of the garlic into as small of pieces as you can. Place in a small bowl. Zest and juice the lemon into the bowl. Add a heaping pinch of salt and pepper. Add in about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Clean off the chickens and dry. Place both of the chickens, great side up, in a large roasting pan or square oven proof baking dish. Using your hands, find space between the skin and the meat of the bird in breasts. Do not break the skin. Pour a portion of the garlic and lemon marinade into each breast, leaving some for the tops. Sprinkle tops with salt and pepper. Rub the remaining lemon garlic mixture on top and all over the top. Allow to marinate, covered, at room temperature for 1 hr. You can do this up to 1 day before. Cover and refrigerate until about an hour before serving. You want the bird to be at room temperature when placing in the oven.
- When ready to cook, preheat over to 350° F.
- Prepare the leeks. Cut off the top green party, leaving the light green and white bottom. Chop off the bottom root and sliced all the way down the middle. Clean out both halves to ensure there is no dirt in between layers. Lay flat side down on a cutting board and cut 1 1/2″ pieces. When ready to place in oven, place under the birds. Place about 2 Tbsp. water or chicken stock in the roasting pan. Place in oven to roast for 1 hr.
- After 25 minutes, check to make sure it isn’t getting to dark on top. Using a large spoon, baste the top of the chickens with the liquid in the bottom of the pan. Do again every 10-15 minutes.
- After an hour they should be nicely browned and have a n internal temperature of 160°F. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can use a large fork to pick up the chicken by the center cavity. If bloody liquid runs out of the chicken, it needs more time. If liquid is clear, it is done.
- Allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
- Serve on a large tray and then carve after guests see.
- Use the leeks and liquid from pans to spoon on top of chicken once carved.