Saturday, January 28, 2012

Jaj bil Firn/ Oven baked Chicken

Hey guys, well i know it has been a very very very....very long time since I last posted and I am truly sorry for those of you that care. I hope to finally keep up even though I added a new hobby to my daily life ( I've become obsessed with crocheting blankets for the past couple of months). Anyways this is an easy dinner recipe that is hard to screw up. I love this dish so much because of the lemon and garlic and when those two ingredients are together you can't go wrong. Anyways this is how I make it.

Start of by smashing a lot of garlic, since it will be cooked you don't have to worry about a a stinky mouth afterwards :). I used half a garlic bulb (or around 7 or 8 good sized garlic cloves).
Next I squeeze lemon juice directly on top of the garlic. This help cook the garlic a little. If you smashed your garlic with salt then you should be fine but if not add some salt in at this point.
I find that since this sauce cooks in the oven and reduces that you need to either add some water or some chicken broth. I add water (since the chicken will produce its own juices) so that the chicken and veggies don't come out too sour.
Wash and dry the chicken very well. Here I am using a whole chicken cut in half. Some people use chicken thighs or chicken drumsticks or even a whole chicken cut up into 8 pieces (2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, 2 wings, and 2 breasts). I find that by leaving the chicken whole it keeps the breast more moist because it is covered by the skin and the skin doesn't move and uncover the breast while cooking.
Place the chicken in the desired over safe pan. I am using my biggest pyrex dish here. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and just a little but of olive oil to get the chicken started. Side note: When i buy chicken make sure to cut off the last digit of the wing and to cut off the "butt" of the chicken. There isn't anything extremely wrong with leaving them on but I get a little grossed out by those parts.
Cook the chicken in the over at 500 degrees until the chicken skin has dripped off some of the fat. The chicken is not cooked at this point. I then drain the fat in the pan or soak it up with paper towels. There is not juice at this point only fat because we cooked it at such a high temperature.
Next add in the wedged potatoes and baby carrots (the original recipe only has potatoes but sometimes i also add koosa (squash) and purple onions). Lay the veggies around the chicken but dont cover the chicken with the veggies. Pour the lemon/garlic/olive oil sauce on the veggies (but not on top of the chicken) and then tent some foil over top. When I say tent the foil I mean to lightly cover it but don't make it air tight.
Continue to cook the chicken until it is cooked all the way and the veggies are soft. When it comes out of the oven let it rest for about 20 minutes so that the veggies and chicken can soak up the lemony goodness. Right before I serve it I take a spoon and i pour the thickened sauce on top of the chicken and veggies.
TA DAH..perfection. The skin is crispy (for those of you that eat the skin...I just peel it off) and the potatoes and carrots have so much flavor.
The chicken should be really really moist. This is a picture of the breast which usually is the most dry part of the chicken and you can tell how moist and tender it comes out in this dish (thanks to the skin).

Written Recipe:

1 whole chicken cut in half with skin on
1/2 smashed garlic bulb (7 to 8 garlic cloves)
juice of 2 lemons (or 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup of chicken broth or water
olive oil (use your desired amount but I recommend about 1/4 cup or less)
salt and pepper to taste
2 to 3 potatoes peeled and cut into 8 wedges each
baby carrots (optional)
other optional veggies: Koosa (squash) and purple onions

Cook the chicken for about 30 minutes uncovered at 500 degrees to cook off some of the fat and then drain the fat and add the veggies and the sauce. Cook for another 45 minutes to an hour or until the chicken is fully cooked and the veggies are soft and tender (400 degrees).


  1. wow! delicious :) ... and i LOVE the very helpful information you give us (soaking the fat.. not making the foil air tight.. etc. )
    thank u :)
    Hanaa Yehia

  2. Hi! First time here! Great recipe :) Will definately try this one out soon!

  3. Assalamulaikum,

    Welcome back, that chicken look amazing...I must try it out, it's healthy too....

    visit me

  4. Que pinta !mas rica tiene este plato!! Me ha encantado, tomo nota!
    Un abrazo y encantada de conocer tu blog!