2 ( 15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained, and patted dry
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala (*I use store-bought, but you can make your own by finely grinding 1 TBSP cardamom seed, 1 tsp cumin seed, 1 tsp whole cloves, 1/3 of a whole nutmeg (grated), 1 medium stick of cinnamon)
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
1 (3 1/2 lb) chicken, patted dry
4 thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 pound carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1-inch rounds (the carrots turn out so yummy, I tend to add a little bit more than a pound so they make it to the table)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Quarter the lemons lengthwise and remove any seeds. Thinly slice 6 of the lemon quarters crosswise until they look like little triangles. In a bowl, toss them with the chickpeas, olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
2. Season inside of chicken cavity with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Fill the cavity with remaining 2 lemon quarters and thyme sprigs. Rub the outside of the chicken with the remaining tablespoon of garam masala, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Then rub the butter all over the skin.
3. Scatter the carrots in the bottom of a large roasting pan (the big one you use at Thanksgiving). Place a wire roasting rack over the carrots and arrange the chicken, breast-side up, on a rack. Transfer pan to the oven, stirring the carrots once or twice (just to keep an eye on everything), for 30 minutes. Remove from oven.
4. Scatter the chickpea and lemon mixture into the bottom of the roasting pan. Continue to roast chicken until chicken comes to 165 degrees or thighs juices run clear when pierced with a fork, 45 to 60 minutes longer. Let chicken rest for 5 to 10 minutes before carving.
5. Meanwhile, stir up the parsley, lemon zest and garlic in a bowl. Spoon the carrot-chickpea mixture onto a platter. Arrange the chicken on top, prettily, and spread the gremolata over the entire dish and serve.
**The lemons are delicious – strong and sweet like lemon drop candy!**
*Adapted from original recipe by Melissa Clark (Cook This Now)