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Roast Chicken with Green Peppercorns and Lemon

Roast Chicken with Green Peppercorns and Lemon
The immature berries of the Piper nigrum tree, green peppercorns have a fresh taste and are less pungent than black peppercorns. Here, green peppercorns are blended with butter and lemon to form a paste, which is rubbed under the skin of the chicken. This helps to keep the bird moist and infuses it with delicious flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. green peppercorns, plus freshly ground
     green peppercorns, to taste
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room
     temperature
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1 chicken, about 5 lb.
  • 1 lemon, cut into slices 1/4 inch thick

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

In a mortar using a pestle, crack the 1 Tbs. green peppercorns. Transfer to a small bowl. Add the butter, lemon zest and juice and the 1 tsp. salt and stir until blended. Set aside.

Rinse the chicken inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Starting on the back of the chicken, gently slide your fingers under the skin to loosen it, being careful not to tear the skin, and rub the meat with some of the lemon-pepper paste. Turn the bird over, loosen the skin on the breast and work your way down to the thigh. Rub the meat with the remaining lemon-pepper paste. Pat the skin firmly back in place, making sure to remove any air pockets. Stuff the cavity with the lemon slices.

Place the chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Season the outside of the chicken with salt and ground green peppercorns. Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170°F, 35 to 40 minutes more.

Transfer the chicken to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Carve the chicken, arrange the pieces on a warmed platter and serve immediately.
Serves 4.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.