I’ve roasted many a chicken in my day. Typically I rinse and dry the bird, salt & pepper the whole thing, stuff the cavity with lemon, garlic, and a few herbs if I have some, then place it on a rack in a roasting pan and pop it in a hot (450°F) oven which I then immediately turn down to 350°F. After an hour or so (during which I might baste it once or twice with a bit of chicken broth if I have some–or not) roasted chicken.
Yesterday I decided to try this recipe (see link above) I read in Saveur. It involves making an herb butter and placing it in pockets you make under the breast and thigh skin. WOW! By far the best chicken I ever roasted.
Of course, I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. For the herb butter I combined the recipe’s lemon (which I zested rather than peel and chop) and garlic with a mixture of parsley (leaves from a couple of sprigs), sage (about 10 leaves), and rosemary (about a sprig’s worth) [for those of you following along with the song, fear not, the thyme is coming]—all of which I grinded together in my mini-chopper before blending with the butter. Then I stuffed the cavity with the quartered lemon, some sprigs of parsley, thyme, and marjoram, and about 1/4 of an onion (no more would fit!).
I skipped the veggies in the bottom of the pan, because I prefer to use a rack. Followed the rest of the recipe, though when the smoke detector went off because the oil in the pan was burning, I basted with a bit of broth and lowered the temp a bit more.
Like I said–WOW!
I’ll post pics once I transfer them from the camera, though they look pretty similar to the one included with the recipe at the Savuer.com site.
Served the chicken with green beans and a mashed turnip/potato/garlic dish recommended in Lynne Rosetto Kasper’s weekly newsletter. As someone who HATES most root vegetables, I’m happy to say that I’ve discovered that if you combine them with enough garlic and/or orange juice, they taste pretty good. This recipe has you parboil peeled turnips and potatoes, then transfer to skillet with whole garlic and some chicken broth. Once everything is soft, it’s all mashed together. Yummo!
Happy Mother’s Day!
[Update: Adding pictures on May 12, 2009]