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Roast chicken with a meyer lemon-caramelized onion sauce

1 large whole chicken (about 4 lbs.)
¼ cup butter, melted
salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup butter
1 large onion, peeled, cut in half and then cut in thick slices
juice from 1 large Meyer lemon
1 cup chicken stock (preferably homemade)
½ cup heavy cream
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. fresh lemon thyme, finely chopped (regular thyme works, too)
2 tbsp. fresh chives, sliced
1/3 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
one Meyer lemon, thinly sliced, for garnish

Begin preparing chicken: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Brush the chicken all over with the melted butter and then sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper on all sides. Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 375 degrees F and roast the chicken 45 minutes more. Remove the chicken from the oven and check the temperature on the deepest part of the thigh; it should read 180 degrees F. Once the chicken is fully roasted, remove it from the oven, place it on a serving platter and cover lightly with a piece of foil. Set the chicken in a warm place and make your sauce.

Make sauce: When chicken is nearly done, begin caramelizing the sliced onions. Melt the ¼ cup butter in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and stir them around to coat them with the butter. Sprinkle them lightly with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook them slowly over low heat, stirring often, until they are a deep caramel color; this takes 15 to 20 minutes or more. Once the onions have reached a deep caramel color, add the lemon juice to the pan and then the chicken stock. Bring sauce to a simmer and reduce by half. Next, add the cream to the sauce and cook till sauce has thickened a little. Add the herbs, check for salt and pepper, and remove to a medium bowl. Cover sauce and keep warm till chicken is ready.

Serve: When chicken is ready to serve, add any juices that may have collected on the platter to the warm sauce and stir to blend. Cut the chicken into pieces, arranging them nicely on the platter. Pour a little sauce over all, then sprinkle with some parsley and garnish with some lemon slices. Serve hot chicken pieces with additional sauce. * Serves 4.

*This recipe is very nice served with small pasta and a vegetable like fresh asparagus for a truly “springy” meal.

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