Pollo al Limone

1    young chicken, about 2 1/2 pounds.

freshly ground pepper


2     whole lemons

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash the chicken in cold water. Remove all loose fat. Dry the bird with paper towels. Rub with salt and pepper, inside and out.

Rinse the lemons in cold water and dry them. Soften the lemons by pressing down hard as you roll them back and forth on the work surface. Make about 20 small holes in each lemon with a two-tined kitchen fork. Place both lemons inside the chicken.

Close the opening with toothpicks or trussing needle and string. Tie the ends of the legs together loosely.

Place the chicken in a roasting pan on a greased rack with the breast facing down, in the upper third of the oven. After 15 minutes, turn the chicken so that the breast faces up, being careful not to break the skin.

Cook for another 20 minutes, then turn up the heat to 400 degrees and cook for an additional 15 minutes, for a total cooking time of 50 minutes.

Carve at the table and serve with the delicious, citrus-flavored juices.

4 servings