Roasted chicken with summer vegetables and preserved lemon

By Jacob Hilbert

Manna, Wilmington NC

Summer 2011

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes to an hour

Serves 4-6


For the chicken:

1 large roasted pan able to contain a whole chicken

1 large 4-6 lbs. organic chicken

12 leaves of fresh marjoram chopped

12 leaves of fresh basil chopped

1 whole head of garlic

1/4 cup olive oil or oil

1 tbsp. cracked black pepper

1 tbsp. kosher or sea salt

1 large white onion cut into thick slices and arranged in the bottom of a roasting pan as a pedestal for the chicken.


  1. preheat the oven to 375* on bake
  2. combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl except for the chicken and the garlic.
  3. place the whole garlic into the cavity of the chicken
  4. coat the inside and outside of the chicken with the olive oil and herbs
  5. place the chicken on top of the onions place in the oven

The chickie should need about 45 minutes to an hour to cook thoroughly. When cooked the juices will run entirely clear at the joints.*

* Whole animals cook a lot more slowly than filets and particularly near the joints. prick the skin where the thigh meets the body of the bird


For the summer vegetables with preserved lemon:

1 medium sized yellow squash cut into rounds about 1/2 inch thick*

1 medium sized zucchini cut into rounds about 1/2 inch thick

1 small red onion or half of a large red onion diced large

12-18 cherry tomatoes (preferably baby heirlooms or right off the vine conventional varieties)

1/2 lbs or so of fresh trimmed and cleaned green beans

1 small clove of garlic

1 preserved quarter lemon peel minced **

1 tablespoon picked fresh thyme leaves

12 fresh basil leaves torn into small pieces by hand***

2 tbsp. nice fruity olive oil preferably an arbequina variety

1 cup organic boxed vegetable stock

salt and pepper


  1. In a heavy bottomed skillet on medium flame add the olive oil, the fresh thyme, the squash and the zucchini and cook for one minute taking care to move the squash about in the pan.
  2. Add the garlic and the cherry tomatoes and cook for about 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes pop and start to release their lovely juices. take care here not to let the garlic burn or brown to deeply as this will lead to bitterness.
  3. Add the stock and the green beans and bring to a simmer until the stock reduces by half finish with the fresh basil, salt to taste, preserved lemon and fresh pepper

* it is important when cutting things that will cook together that you cut things with similar cook times ( as in squash and zucchini) close to the same size. This will help insure even cooking and even textures

**found in specialty food and ethnic food store however they are quite easy to make on your own and so incredible. If you cannot find them and you don’t wish to make them lemon zest of two lemons may be added

***tearing versus cutting basil allows more flavor to remain in the basil leaf.


Assembling the dish:

Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and set on a towel for a moment to “clean up.” spread the fresh vegetables around the outside of a serving platter and place the chicken right in the center. garnish with some fresh basil leaves and chives.


It is essential that you take the time to source quality ingredients. firstly things taste better and are more nutritious. Secondarily the relationships you build with meat markets, farmers, fish mongers and the like are so important to self and community. as you grow as a cook and find that there are more interesting things you want to try having a world of friendly experts on your team is helpful. be firm as well, about quality and freshness. if it smells bad or looks bad don’t buy it. insist on the best. it often costs no more than inferior ingredients it just takes a little of your time, and you may find that you like your time being spent in this way