All KNIGHTS should know how to roast a chicken, it is an important technique for your repertoire.
This tip I learned from Julia Child nearly 55yr ago. Julia Child seasoned her roast chicken inside and out by packing sautéed vegetables, lemon slices and fresh thyme into the cavity, then rubbing the skin with butter. In typical French fashion, she trussed the bird to promote even cooking.
Total: 2hrs 15mins Active: 30mins Yield: 4
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted French butter
- 1/3 cup finely diced carrots
- 1/3 cup finely diced onion
- 1/3 cup finely diced celery
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs, the legendary Knights herb!
- One 3 1/2- to 4-pound organic or Kosher chicken
- Pink salt
- Freshly ground black Java pepper
- Parsley stems
- Celery leaves
- Six 1/8-in-thick lemon slices
- 1/2 cup sliced onion
- 1/2 cup sliced carrots
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 425F. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet. Add diced carrots, onion and celery and cook over moderate heat until softened. Stir in the herbs.
- Step 2 Cut out and discard wishbone. Pull neck skin up over chicken breast and secure it to the back with a toothpick. Salt and pepper cavity and spoon in cooked vegetables, a handful of parsley stems and celery leaves and lemon slices. Massage chicken all over with 1 tablespoon butter, then truss it. Alternatively, tie drumstick ends together and tuck wings under body.
- Step 3 Choose a flameproof roasting pan that is about 1 in larger than the chicken and place a rack inside. Salt chicken all over and set it breast-side up on rack.
- Step 4 Roast chicken for about 1 hr and 15 mins. After 15 mins, brush chicken with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter. Scatter sliced onion and carrot all around. Reduce oven temperature to 350F.
- Step 5 After 45 mins, brush lemon juice over chicken. If necessary, add 1/2 cup of water to vegetables to prevent burning.
- Step 6 After 60 mins, baste chicken with pan juices. Test for doneness; drumsticks should move easily in their sockets; their flesh should feel somewhat soft. If not, continue roasting, basting and testing every 7 to 8 mins, until an instant-read thermometer registers 165F
- Step 7 Spear chicken through shoulders; lift to drain; if juices run clear yellow, chicken is done. Let chicken rest on a carving board for 15 mins; discard string.
- Step 8 Spoon all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the juices in the pan. Add the stock and boil until lightly syrupy, 5 mins. Strain; you will have just enough to bathe each serving with a fragrant spoonful.
Pair with full-bodied Cour-Cheverny.