Citrus Butter Roasted Chicken Made Easy at Home
Guide to Buying Chicken
Buying chicken can get a little complicated depending on the options available in your area. Purchasing from a trusted supplier is key no matter the situation. Reading the labels and asking questions are both critical if you are trying to avoid a specific product. Below we will go over the different kinds of chicken and their meanings.
Free-range is supposed to mean that the chicken was raised in a pasture. It more than likely means that the chicken was raised on pasture or had access to a pasture. This is a category that require trust in your supplier, or questions be asked & answered.
Look for a USDA Organic logo on the packaging. This means that the chicken's diet organic feed and it had access to the outdoors. As an Executive Chef, I prefer products free from chemicals as much as possible, so organic chicken a green light for me.
Antibiotic-Free and Hormone-Free
The USDA prohibits the use of any added hormones in poultry. Antibiotics means that it is free from any chicken medication that the bird has ingested. Look for an USDA Organic label on an antibiotic free chicken.
Kosher or Halal
Even if you do not consider yourself a religious person, there's a very good chance you have eaten kosher or halal meat as it is readily available and widespread. Kosher and halal chickens are raised, slaughtered, butchered, packaged, and prepared in accordance with Islamic and Jewish culinary requirements. You will find it is clearly labeled on the packaging if you are buying outside of a Kosher or Halal shop. Read the entire label on the package for further detail.
I'm not exactly sure why this is a category as it has no meaning at all. Only egg chickens are caged. Chicken for meat use, are all kept together in a warehouse. So, I guess that's still cage-free right?
After a chicken is slaughtered it then gets de-feathered. It is then cooled by hanging in open air, and not submerged in water. Water-chilling adds water weight, which makes the meat less flavorful. Air-chilled birds are more flavorful.
When it's All Said & Done
The best outcome in your bird shopping days is you're going to leave a grocery store with an free-range, organic, antibiotic-free chicken or at the very least, an air-chilled bird.
- 16 pieces chicken (leg & thighs)
- 2 small shallots, chopped fine
- 4 fresh garlic clove, minced
- 2 fresh lemons, juiced
- 1 bunch fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
- 1 tablesoon lemon zest
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup capers
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, mix the minced garlic, and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Place a cast iron skillet or saute pan over medium high heat. Pat the chicken dry. Season the chicken with salt & pepper. Add oil to the pan. Sear chicken skin side down in pan for 3-4 minutes or until skin is golden brown and a little crispy. and 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme to the pan nearing the end of the sear. Remove chicken from pan and place on roasting pan with rack Place chicken in oven to roast on one of the lower racks. Roast the chicken while occasionally checking it.
- Place the saute pan back over medium heat. Add olive oil, and shallots. Saute shallots 30 seconds & add garlic & zest. Saute for a few seconds and add chicken stock. Scrape pan with wooden spoon. Bring to a strong boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes low and slow. Add lemon juice and simmer 5 more minutes. Remove from heat, & with a whisk, add butter. Add fresh herbs, capers & season.
- Check chicken. It is ready when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh registers 165°. Let the chicken rest a few minutes before serving. Add chicken to the plate, and pour a little of the lemon caper butter sauce over each piece. Garnish with more lemon and fresh thyme if desired. Serve with roasted or grilled vegetables.