Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Cook the chicken and garlic: Rub the outside of the chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt. Use a fine-mesh strainer to sprinkle an even layer of the paprika and mustard over the whole chicken. Transfer to a shallow baking pan or rimmed baking sheet fitted with a roasting rack and roast for 15 minutes. Then lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and loosely cover the top of the chicken with a piece of foil. In a small bowl, toss the garlic with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt. Arrange the garlic around the chicken. Roast until the chicken juices run clear or the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F to 165 degrees F, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
While the chicken is roasting, cook the lemons: In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, 2 teaspoons salt and the lemons with 3 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the cinnamon sticks and fennel seeds. Simmer until the liquid becomes slightly syrupy, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the red wine vinegar and cook over medium heat until the lemons become tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 30 to 35 minutes. Allow the lemons to sit in the hot liquid for 15 minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon. On a flat surface, cut each lemon into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Remove the seeds. Set the slices aside in some of the cooking liquid to keep them moist until ready to serve.
Finish the dish: Arrange the chicken on a serving platter with the garlic around it. Put the baking pan on a burner and simmer any chicken cooking juices over medium heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the drained lemon slices. Return the heat to medium low, taste for seasoning and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Spoon the sauce and lemons around the chicken and roasted garlic.
Photograph by Chris Court
Recipes reprinted from The Home Cook. Copyright (c) 2017 by Alex Guarnaschelli. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
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