How to Roast a Chicken

This is our fool proof roasted chicken recipe with crispy skin.  It originally came out of Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food (I think?).  This is our go-to-meal for guests that’s so easy and can be paired with pretty much any potato side and good red wine.

What you’ll need for the chicken:

3 lbs. chicken (trussed)
a bundle of rosemary
a bundle of thyme
a whole head of garlic (half sliced, half whole cloves)
salt and pepper (I use lemon pepper)
4 tbsp. of room temp. butter
2 tbsp. of butter
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • I’m terrible at trussing chickens. I just shove the wings in the front cavern and tie the legs together with twine.  You can then anchor them to what James calls the “goula” (probably some Sicilian slang for chicken ass) or better known as the “pope’s nose”.
  • First salt and pepper the chicken generously and refrigerate for about an hour. Don’t forget to salt and pepper the inside of the chicken.
  • Take the chicken out and let sit in your roaster about a half an hour before you cook it to get it down to room temp.
  • I cut a little slit in the breast of the chicken (both top and bottom).
  • Stuff about 3 sprigs of rosemary and thyme in each slit.
  • Add two sliced cloves of garlic in each slit.

  • Add remaining whole garlic, rosemary and thyme in chicken cavity.
  • Some people like to put lemons and onions in the cavity as well…I leave it out because I like my chicken to have a simpler flavor but it tastes just as lovely.  Sometimes I put onion rings in the bottom of the roaster.
  • With your hands, rub butter all over chicken skin.
  • At the end, I add some of this Sunny Paris herb combo that I bought at Penzy’s which includes shallots, chives, green peppercorns, dill weed, basil, tarragon, chervil and bay leaf (did I just say simple flavor?).
  • You will cook the chicken approximately a half an hour per pound (So in this case, 1 1/2 hour). I turn the chicken over and baste after every half hour. The inside of the chicken should be 180 degrees (both legs and breast).
  • At the end, let chicken stand for 10 minutes before carving.

  • In the mean time, make gravy by putting the whole roasted garlic cloves and the run off butter, juices and herbs in a small sauce pan. Stir in 2 tbsp. of flour and gently stir over low heat until it thickens.


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