There is something about Sundays. No matter how the day is spent, the evening should be spent around the table with family. Thankfully, my best friend is of the same mind. We have a tradition of Sunday suppers, cooking together and setting the table. I don’t know that everyone always appreciates the napkin rings and fancy serving dishes, but they certainly did enjoy this meal.

Ingredients:

1 4-5 lb fresh whole chicken
2 small organic lemons
1 organic sweet onion
1 stick organic unsalted butter, softened
2 tbs herbes de provence with lavender
1/2 cup organic chicken broth
1 cup water

How I made it:

Remove the top rack and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil or use a nonstick roaster.

Remove the neck from inside the chicken (chicken necks creep me out, so I just toss it — you could reserve it for something else). Rinse the chicken in cool water, making sure to rinse the inside of the chicken. Set the chicken in the roaster.

(Wash your hands with soap and hot water — chickens are germy.)

Quarter the lemons. Peel and quarter the onion, separating into smaller segments. Stuff the lemon quarters and onion sections into the chicken.

(Wash your hands with soap and hot water — chickens are germy.)

Combine the butter and herbes d’provence well. Scoop out 2 tbs of the butter and massage into the chicken, making sure to get all the nooks and crannies.

(Wash your hands with soap and hot water — chickens are germy.)

Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the roaster. Create a foil tent over the chicken and put it in the oven.

It takes about two or two and a half hours to roast. At 30 minutes, use a spoon to rub more herbed butter onto the chicken and re-cover.  At one hour, add 1/2 cup of water and the rest of the onion that didn’t fit inside the chicken to the bottom of the pan, and rub on more butter.  At 90 minutes, rub on more butter (no — Julia Child didn’t create this recipe), remove the foil tent, and return to the oven.

Let it roast another 30 minutes and then start watching for doneness.  It should register 185 degrees with a meat thermometer when it’s done. Then turn the oven off, re-cover the chicken with the foil and return it to the oven to rest until everyone is sitting at the table.

How it turned out:

Even my sometimes-vegetarian friend couldn’t resist! Tender, juicy, flavorful — just what you need to get everyone to the table.

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