BackstoryIf you've ever seen Julia Child in action, then you know she loved her birds. There's a great scene in one of her shows where she has several birds on a table and you can sense her passion in her cooking as she selects which bird she'll be cooking with today. It's that passion for cooking that inspires chefs and home cooks still to this day. It's that passion that makes one fearless.
This recipe was inspired by Julia Child and is prepared by Danny Meyer and Chef Michael Romano. The secret to this deliciously moist chicken is to seasoning it up to a day before roasting. This allows the salt and pepper to penetrate the chicken and flavor it in a way that last-minute seasoning cannot. If roasting a kosher chicken, use only pepper since it has already been salted. We accompany the chicken with Creamy Polenta and Panzanella. You could also serve spinach, Mashed Potatoes, or turnips with satisfying results.
- 1 (4- to 5-pound) chicken
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped tarragon
- 1/2 cup sliced carrots
- 1/2 cup sliced celery
- 1/2 cup sliced onion
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1. The day before roasting chicken (or at least 8 hours ahead), season inside and out with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.
- 2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- 3. Truss chicken, tying its legs together tightly with kitchen twine. Rub the butter all over the chicken. Place breast side down on a roasting rack set in a roasting pan. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
- 4. Remove chicken from oven and place the thyme, parsley, tarragon, carrots, celery and onion in the pan under rack. Turn chicken over onto its back and continue to roast breast side up another 35 to 40 minutes, or until skin is browned. To check for doneness, place a meat thermometer in thickest part of the thigh, being careful not to pierce through to the cavity. It should read 170 degrees F. If you don't have a thermometer, tilt the chicken forward on rack until juices run from cavity. They should be clear with no trace of pinkness.
- 5. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Allow to rest in a warm for 15 minutes before carving. Remove the rack, tilt the roasting pan and pour off the fat, leaving vegetables and herbs in the pan. Place the pan over medium-high flame and pour in chicken stock as well as any juice that has accumulated on the platter. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Strain.
- 6. Carve the chicken and serve with hot herbed pan juices. Makes 4 servings.