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A Honey of a Hen
From Great Good Food, by Julee Rosso

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken (2 to 2-1/2 pounds)
2 lemons, thinly sliced
1 packed cup fresh mint leaves, or four 4-inch sprigs fresh rosemary
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400F (205C).

2. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry. Place the chicken upside down on a work surface. With your fingers, gently separate the skin from the flesh, being careful not to tear the skin. Insert one lemon slice on each side of the back-bone. Truss the opening with a metal skewer. Turn the bird over. Carefully loosen the skin from the breast, legs, and thighs. Insert slices of lemon to cover as much flesh as possible. Place the remaining lemon slices and mint in the cavity, and truss with a metal skewer. Place the chicken on a rack in a foil-lined baking pan.

3. Combine the honey and lemon juice. Place the chicken in the oven. Cook for 1 to 1-1/4 hours, basting with the honey-lemon mixture every 10 minutes, or until the juice runs clear when the thigh is pierced with a fork. Cut into serving pieces; discard the lemon and mint. Serve immediately.

Yield: Serves 4

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