Passover Meals

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James Carrier

Roast Lemon Chicken with Shallots and Potatoes

Notes: Large roasting chickens tend to have more flavor than smaller "fryers"; many meat departments will order them. Kosher chickens larger than 4 pounds can be difficult to find. You can order them online, or you can roast two 3- to 3 1/2-pound chickens side by side in a large roasting pan (in step 3, divide half the spice mixture evenly between the two chickens).

1  chicken (6 to 7 lb.)
2  lemons (12 oz. total), rinsed
1/2  cup lightly packed fresh sage leaves
2  tablespoons olive oil
2  teaspoons paprika
1  teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2  teaspoons salt
1/2  teaspoon pepper
4  pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 in. wide; halve or quarter if larger), scrubbed
1  pound shallots (each about 1 1/2 in. wide), peeled

1. Remove and discard giblets and lumps of fat from chicken. Rinse bird inside and out; pat dry. If desired, fold wing tips under first joint and tie drumstick ends together. Set breast side up on a V-shaped rack in an 11- by 17-inch roasting pan. Squeeze juice from half of 1 lemon, reserving remaining half. Thinly slice other lemon.

2. Starting at the neck, gently ease your fingers under chicken skin to loosen it over breast. Push 4 to 6 lemon slices and 6 to 8 sage leaves under skin. Place remaining lemon slices, reserved lemon half, and remaining sage leaves in body cavity.

3. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, olive oil, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Rub about half this mixture evenly over chicken.

4. In a bowl, mix potatoes and shallots with remaining paprika mixture until well combined. Distribute vegetables around chicken in pan.

5. Roast in a 425 oven, stirring vegetables after about 45 minutes (add 1/4 cup water if pan begins to scorch), until potatoes are tender when pierced and a thermometer reaches 170 when inserted through the thickest part of breast to the bone and 180 when inserted through thickest part of thigh at joint, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. (If chicken is done before potatoes, return pan with vegetables to oven and continue to cook while chicken rests in step 6.)

6. With a carving fork, lift bird and tilt to drain juices into pan. Set chicken on a rimmed platter. Arrange vegetables around chicken. Let rest in a warm place about 15 minutes. Carve chicken and serve.