I mentioned last Tuesday that we'd be hosting a Parisian inspired dinner party last Saturday. With several sticks of butter, some rosemary, lots of lemons, and a variety of cheeses, it went off without a hitch.
I initially pictured a tablescape that was more French country than anything else. I was thinking white linen table linens and fresh lavender bouquets until I saw this Eiffel Tower candle holder at Pier One. I decided instead to go with red linen table clothes and on each side of the Eiffel Tower centerpiece I added two small bouquets of white hydrangeas. The glow from the candles against the red linens and the white hydrangeas felt warm and chic at the same time.
The main dish we served at dinner was Ina Garten's Lemon Chicken with Croutons. I always like to serve one dish that does not require a lot of attention so that I can focus on the other dishes and my guests. For this dish, I prepared the croutons earlier in the afternoon and had them ready in the serving dishes I planned to use to serve the chicken. About an hour before the guests arrived, I put the chicken in the over and let it roast for an hour and a half. After fitting minutes of resting time, it was ready to serve. Voila!
- 1 (4 to 5-pound) roasting chicken
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced
- Good olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 lemons, quartered
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 6 cups (3/4-inch) bread cubes (1 baguette or round boule)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Take the giblets out of the chicken and wash it inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers. Toss the onion with a little olive oil in a small roasting 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 and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.
Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until very hot. Lower the heat to medium-low and saute the bread cubes, tossing frequently, until nicely browned, 8 to
10 minutes. Add more olive oil, as needed, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the croutons on a serving platter. Slice the chicken and place it, plus all the pan juices, over the croutons. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm.