Sicilian Lemon Roasted Chicken With Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Updated September 5th 2022
How To Make A Roast Healthy Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil
A great source of protein and minerals combined with best olive oil – Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil for a heart healthy Mediterranean Diet recipe.
Roasting chickens are raised only for their meat and are generally young chickens between 8 and 12 weeks old. Usually roasted whole, these chickens have more meat per pound than a broiler-fryer type. If you’re looking for a high protein source, roasted chicken is a healthy choice since all cuts are carbohydrate-free, contain no harmful trans fats or sugar and are naturally low in sodium.
Good Source of Protein
Chicken is a good source of protein, which is one of the most important macronutrients you need in your diet. It’s a vital building block for muscle, hair, skin and cartilage. The yield from the meat of half a roasted chicken with skin — about 10 ounces or 285 grams — supplies 68 grams of protein. The recommended daily intake of protein for adult women is 46 grams; for men it’s 56 grams, according to Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Eating half a chicken would supply all of your daily requirements for protein.
Dietary Fat and Cholesterol
Chicken contains 38 grams of total fat per half chicken. Of the lipid content, 15.4 grams are monounsaturated and 8.3 grams are polyunsaturated fat, which are important for helping your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins. Eating half a chicken would contribute 10.7 grams of saturated fat toward the recommended daily allowance of 10 percent of your total daily calories. Removing the skin would cut the amount of saturated fat to almost half — 18.9 grams.
There’s a difference in the amount of saturated fat in dark chicken meat as opposed to white. For comparison, 100 grams of dark meat has 2.4 grams of saturated fat versus white meat with 1 gram. Chicken contains no harmful trans-fat.
Rich in B Vitamins
Chicken is exceptionally rich in niacin, which helps regulate cholesterol. A half chicken offers 21 milligrams, or 30 percent DV. Other B vitamins include: vitamin B6, 15 percent DV; pantothenic acid, 9 percent DV; riboflavin, 6 percent DV; vitamin B12, 3 percent DV; and thiamin, 3 percent DV. With 237 IU of vitamin A, the nutrition in roasted chicken contributes to normal vision and proper functioning of the immune system.
Good Source of Minerals
An excellent source of the antioxidant selenium, a half chicken contains 67 micrograms, which is more than 100 percent DV. Phosphorus is necessary for strong bones and maintaining muscle, and chicken supplies 510 milligrams or over half your DV. Iron for producing and maintaining red blood cells is in the half-chicken mix at 3.6 milligrams. Help with immune system regulation comes from 4.1 milligrams of zinc. Magnesium content is high at 57 milligrams — almost 10 percent of your DV from half a chicken. Other minerals in chicken include calcium, potassium and copper. Chicken is naturally low in sodium with only 208 milligrams per half-chicken serving.
White Meat Versus Dark
Beyond the difference in saturated fat content and calories, other differences involve the amount of protein and micronutrients in light and dark chicken meat. White meat offers more protein than dark meat, with 100 grams of light meat containing 27 grams compared to 23 grams for dark meat.
Light meat has more calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. The light meat from chicken also contains more of the B vitamins niacin, B6 and B12. Dark meat supplies more zinc and iron. The vitamin content of riboflavin, folate and vitamin A is also higher in dark meat.
You may also like our Mediterranean Chicken recipe.
Sicilian Chicken Recipe with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 whole chicken
- ¼ to ½ cup Morocco Gold
- 4 Tbsp. mixed spices
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic
- 3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 Tsp. black pepper blend
- Seasons Fleur de Sel (French sea salt), to taste
- 2-3 celery stalks, cut in half
- 2-3 carrots, cut in half
- 1 large onion, roughly quartered
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage, bay leaf), optional
- Fresh Parsley, chopped
- 3 pounds small red or white potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 475°F.
- To prepare the spice rub, combine 3 Tbsp. spice blend, black pepper, minced garlic and 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Set aside for a few minutes while you attend to the chicken.
- Remove the giblets and any extra skin and fat from the chicken. Thoroughly wash the chicken and squeeze the juice of the lemon all over the chicken (save the lemon rind). Set the chicken aside while you prepare the vegetables to allow the lemon to infuse the chicken.
- Pile the celery, carrots, most of the onion quarters (save one quarter for the chicken cavity) and a few garlic cloves in the center of a roasting pan (we like to use a large cast iron for this), season with some salt and pepper and drizzle the vegetable mix with some extra virgin olive oil.
- Pat dry the chicken with paper towels. Using your fingertips carefully work your way under the skin of the chicken to separate the skin from the breast to develop a pocket. Spread the spice rub under the skin of the chicken. Make sure to distribute the rub evenly throughout (including the back and the cavity). Fill the chicken cavity with the saved lemon rind, fresh herbs (if using), onion quarters and a few garlic cloves. Drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil and massage the skin (this will really help to get a nice brown crispy skin). Sprinkle with more salt.
- Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan.
- In a large bowl, add the potatoes with salt, black pepper, 1 Tbsp. spice blend and some extra virgin olive oil; toss well to combine then scatter them around the chicken.
- Transfer the pan in the preheated oven and turn the heat down immediately to 400°F. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes, then rotate the pan, toss the potatoes and turn down the heat to 350°F. Cook for 1 hour longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh registers 165°F to 175°F and juices run clear.
- Transfer the roasted chicken to a cutting board, remove the aromatics from the cavity and tent with foil for about 20 minutes. Remove the potatoes to a serving bowl, toss with chopped parsley and balsamic. Cover to keep warm.
- Carve the Sicilian roasted chicken and serve with roasted potatoes and pan juices.
About Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For health conscious, discerning food lovers across all cultures and culinary backgrounds, Morocco Gold is a natural, unfiltered, ultra premium, polyphenol rich extra virgin olive oil, whose exquisite taste and health enhancing qualities are guaranteed by our rigorous testing, provenance and authenticity, and strict adherence to single estate sourcing, with no blending or mixing.
What is extra virgin olive oil good for : extra virgin olive oil uses
Incredibly versatile, Morocco Gold is one of the best extra virgin olive oils for cooking and salad dressing. High in polyphenols, Morocco Gold shows why extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest fat on earth. (It can also be used as an extra virgin olive oil for hair and as an extra virgin olive oil for skin).
Our gold award winning extra virgin olive oil represents the very best extra virgin olive oil.
The oil is produced from olives grown in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, where the unique micro-climate and geology provides ideal conditions for olive growing. Morocco Gold combines centuries of local cultivation and harvesting knowledge, with our rigorous traceability and quality assurance procedures to bring what is locally considered a ‘noble food’ to international markets.
The oil is produced from the Picholine Marocaine olive. Our olives are hand-picked early in the harvesting season when the fruit is young and first cold pressed within 24 hours of picking. There is no mixing or blending with other oils to ensure genuine extra virgin quality.
As a result this gives Morocco Gold it’s distinctive green fruitiness, hints of sweet almonds, fresh turf and a hint of herbs. It has the distinctive ‘pepperiness’ (not too aggressive) of a fine extra virgin olive oil which as a consequence gives Morocco Gold a clean, well balanced finish.