Good Roast Chicken
Recipe Type: Dinner
This is one of my favorite ways of roasting a whole chicken. Prepared this way it can easily be served in manageable size pieces. It can be cooked in a regular oven, or on the barbecue. Another simple variation includes using a rolling pin, or a wine bottle, or a meat pounder, if you have one, and flattening the chicken, then weigh it down with foil wrapped house bricks and cook it in the oven or on the barbecue..
- One whole chicken (any size but 3 – 4 pounds works best)
- Rosemary, Sage, Thyme
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Lemon Juice
- Good sized kitchen knife
- A container in which to marinade the chicken
- (Food Saver, Gallon plastic Bag, any non-reactive dish)
- Roasting Pan
Preparing the chicken
- Cut the backbone out of the chicken
- Spread-eagle it flesh side down and crack the breast bone by pressing down with your hand
- Turn it flesh side up, use your finger tip to find the knuckle joint between the lower leg and the thigh.
- Insert the point of your kitchen knife and cut down through the joint.
- (This allows the heat to penetrate the legs for more even cooking).
- Whisk together a quarter cup of olive oil and the juice of one or two lemons.
- Add whatever herbs you have – roughly chopped
- Add salt and pepper
- Chop a couple of cloves of garlic
- Mix it all together until the oil and lemon have at least partly emulsified.
Put the chicken and the marinade together.
- Put the cut open chicken flesh side down over the marinade
- Marinade for a couple of hours or overnight if you can
Cooking the chicken
- Heat the oven to 425F or even 450F
- Thoroughly dry the skin of the chicken with paper towel
- Sprinkle the skin with a generous amount of good salt
- (The combination of dryness, oven heat, and salt makes for a crispy skin and a golden color).
- Put the chicken flesh side down in the roasting pan – a small grid to lift it from the bottom of the pan works well as it lets the heat circulate more evenly
- It’s best to have removed most of the marinade and especially the herbs as the heat will just burn them.
- Roast for 45 minutes
- Remove from oven to a cooling tray and tent with aluminum foil and let rest for ten minutes. Please don’t skip this step – it makes a big difference to the finished product.
- In the meantime if you’d like some gravy deglaze the roasting pan with some chicken stock and white wine if you have any.
- Thicken the gravy with a little corn starch mixed in a small bowl with cold water until smooth
- Whisk the smooth corn starch into the gravy