We’re talking about Sunday dinners today. Grandma came from a large family and I can imagine the Sunday dinners that they had, all seated around the round dining room table that I still have in my kitchen today. I love these photos – one of all the girls, including their mother, and one of all the boys, including their father. I think these were taken sometime around the late 1920s or early 1930s. I absolutely love the haircuts on the girls, and the boys all have on a shirt and tie (their mother sewed ALL their clothes back then).
I’d like to think that this was a Sunday afternoon, after they had their dinner all together. It may have not been as raucous around the table as my family is today, since Grandma once told my middle child (who really never stopped talking when she was little) that sitting around the table was for eating, not for talking. I’m sure she told her that because she wanted her to just stop talking, not that it was really important to be silent at the table. Maybe, with all of those people around the table in Grandma’s family, they needed to keep everybody calm and told them that they couldn’t talk at the table, who knows? My family tries to have Sunday dinner together every week, and it can get loud when we all get together. We know we’re lucky to be able to do it, and we’re going to enjoy it as long as we can.
Today’s recipe for Lemon Chicken with Croutons comes from Ina Garten’s Barefoot in Paris cookbook. This has become one of my family’s favorite and most requested dishes, and we have it often for Sunday dinner. Because it comes from Ina, it’s so easy and SO GOOD!
Here is the recipe as I made it:
Lemon Chicken with Croutons
1 (4-5 pound) roasting chicken
1 large yellow onion, sliced
Salt and pepper
2 lemons, quartered
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 cups (3/4 inch) bread cubes (she says to use 1 baguette or round boule – I used a multigrain loaf)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Take giblets out of chicken and wash it inside and out.
Remove any excess fat and pin feathers.
Toss the onion with a little olive oil in a small roasting pan (I use a cake pan).
Place the chicken on top and sprinkle the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper.
Place the lemons inside the chicken.
Pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels, brush it with the melted butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Tie the legs together with kitchen string (I didn’t do this as I made two chickens at the same time) and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.
Roast for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and thigh.
Cover with foil and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes (the onions may burn, but the flavor is good).
Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil until very hot.
Lower heat to medium-low and saute the bread cubes, tossing frequently, until nicely browned, 8-10 minutes.
Add more olive oil, as needed, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place the croutons on a serving platter.
Slice the chicken and place it, plus all the pan juices, over the croutons (I just put the whole chicken on the croutons and sliced it at the table).
Sprinkle with salt and serve warm.
Here they are, all stuffed with lemon and ready for the oven.
It’s important to make sure the croutons are good and crispy so they will readily soak up all of the delicious juice.
Out of the oven and these little beauties just need to rest a bit before we dig in.
This little chicken is resting on top of the crispy croutons. There was A LOT of pan juices from these 2 chickens. I also squeeze the juice from the lemons before removing the chickens from the pan. It makes a lot more tasty juice that way. The onions didn’t burn in the pan this time, but if they do, it’s just tastier!
All we needed to add for dinner were some green beans from our garden.
This is the most delicious and moist chicken. The lemon just makes that pan juice so amazing. Try this dish and your family will be requesting this as much as my family does. Maybe at your next Sunday dinner?!