Herb Roasted Chicken

This recipe is from the post: The Tale of the Little Chicken That Could!

(The bit of wine in the bottom of the pan makes this a moist and flavorful chicken with some pan juices. It’s REALLY good!) 

1 – 3 1/2 to 4 lb. whole nice chicken, preferably organic and I envy you if home raised
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves plus 1 sprig
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus two sprigs
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon of kosher salt, plus a pinch
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, plus a pinch
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, save both the lemon halves to stuff into the cavity of the bird
1/2 cup dry white or rose wine

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Make a paste in a small bowl by combining the chopped herbs, garlic, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, olive oil and the lemon juice. Set aside.

Gently wash your chicken (removing anything inside the cavity) inside and out with warm water. Remove any extra fat around the neck of the bird. With a sharp knife, carefully remove the wing nubbins where they join the elbow of the wing. Starting at the open end of the breast, gently lift the skin off the meat, trying to keep in in one piece and lifting just enough to get your fingertips all the way to the front of the breast on both sides. Take 3/4 of the herb paste and smear it well all over the breast meat under the skin. Carefully place the skin back over the breasts. Rub the remaining paste all over the chicken, then season it outside and inside the cavity with a bit of salt and pepper. Slice your remaining lemon into thick slices and place it inside the cavity of the chicken, along with the rosemary and thyme sprigs. Take some kitchen string and tie the two drumstick legs together. Place the chicken breast side up on a roasting rack in a roasting pan, and tuck the wings up underneath the chicken. Pour the wine into the bottom of the pan.

Place the chicken into the oven and roast at 425 for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees and roast for about 1 hour, checking periodically and covering the breast with aluminum foil if it starts to get too brown. After a total cooking time of 1 hour 15 minutes, check the chicken to see if it’s done. It’s done when you prick the breasts with the tines of a carving fork and press down, and the juices run clear with no sign of pink, and the thighs underneath have clear juices when pricked and pressed as well, and the legs will wobble freely when jiggled. When in doubt, roast it another 15 minutes or so and check again…a bigger bird may require more time. When it’s done, remove the pan and bird from the oven, cover lightly with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Carve and serve.

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