Don’t you love when one dinner can stretch into two? I’m not talking about leftovers of the same meal, but a different meal with basically the same ingredients, plus or minus a few pantry staples. Today I’m talking about how to get two meals accomplished with one batch of mostly similar ingredients. Our first meal will be a flat-lay roasted chicken on a bed of garlic and lemon slices served with roasted carrots. The other is a Risotto with fresh peas, goat cheese and roasted lemon served with chicken.
To intensify the chicken stock we’re going to use the chicken bits and pieces from the inside, as well as the back, which you will remove. From the chicken stock, we’ll make Risotto with fresh peas and goat cheese served with chicken and finished with a squeeze of roasted lemon and a few of those roasted carrots, if you have them leftover. You can add the chicken right into the risotto or serve it on the side. Whichever you choose it’s delicious.
When preparing the chicken, I recommend roasting flat or Butterflying as it allows the meat to roast more quickly and evenly while remaining juicy and completely tender. Placing the chicken on a “bed” of lemon and garlic infuses it with amazing flavor as it roasts. Seriously, this may be the best roasted chicken recipe ever.
Be sure to save some of those beautifully roasted lemons for the risotto. The sweet juice (as a result of roasting the lemons) is delicious squeezed over the risotto. This is my very favorite recipe for risotto.
- 2 pounds whole chicken
- 4 bulbs of garlic, halved horizontally
- 3 lemons, sliced into half-inch rounds.
- 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Rinse the chicken, remove internal organs, set aside in a saucepan and pat chicken dry.
- Place the chicken, breast-side down, on a board so the back is facing up and the drumsticks are pointing towards you.
- Using sharp kitchen scissors or chicken shears, cut closely along each side of the backbone.
- Remove and discard the backbone or save with internal organs for stock.
- Turn the chicken, breast-side up, and press down firmly on the breastbone to flatten the chicken.
- Arrange the garlic and lemon on an oven tray lined with non-stick baking paper.
- Top with the chicken, breast-side up, tucking in the wingtips.
- Brush the chicken with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 35–40 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
- Internal temperature with a thermometer should read 165°F.
Meal #2: Risotto with Peas and Goat Cheese
- 1-quart organic (or homemade) chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup butter
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 3 cups risotto rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup frozen peas (add more if desired)
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup crumbly goat cheese, divided.
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- Heat the stock in a saucepan.
- In a separate pan, heat the butter, add the onion, and fry for about 8 minutes until the onion is soft but not colored.
- Add the rice and turn up the heat so it almost fries.
- After a minute the rice will look slightly translucent. Add the wine and keep stirring.
- Now add a ladle of hot stock and a pinch of salt. Turn down the heat to a fairly high simmer. Keep adding ladleful of stock, stirring constantly and allowing each ladleful to be absorbed completely before adding the next.
- Add the peas into the stock when there are a couple of ladlefuls left, and add them with the stock.
- Stir until the rice is soft but still has a slight bite, then season with salt and pepper.
- Remove from the heat and stir in half of the goat cheese and the Parmesan.
- Sprinkle the remaining goat cheese over the top and eat as soon as possible while it retains its lovely moist texture.