Cathedral Herb Garden Chicken

The Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, or the Washington National Cathedral, has an herb garden that I used to frequent a few times a year. The Cathedral was started in 1907 and was completed in Sept. 1990. This recipe was published in The Washington Post.

  • 2 small broiling chickens, about 2-1/2 lbs. each
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 2 tsp. fresh chopped rosemary or 1 tsp. crushed dried
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger root or 1/4 tsp. ground
  • 6 slices lean, smoked bacon
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425° F.

Rinse and clean the chickens, and excavate and rinse out any innards. Pat dry with a paper towel, then rub the cavities with lemon. Blend the rosemary with the butter and ginger. Spread some of the butter under the skin of the breasts and thighs. Place the chickens on their sides in a roasting pan, cover with strips of bacon, and bake for about 20 minutes. If the bacon becomes too dark, discard it. Turn the chicken breasts up, reduce the heat to 375° F and baste often with the remaining butter and pan drippings.

Bake for another 25 minutes or until the juices run perfectly clear when a skewer is inserted into the thigh. Salt and pepper to taste, then serve.

(688 calories, 50 g. fat, 19 g. saturated fat, 120 mg. cholesterol, 326 mg. sodium per serving.)

– The All Hallows Guild, Washington, D.C