Thursday, July 22, 2010

Herb Roasted Chicken


This is my version of what I saw in Nice, France. The French have rotisserie chickens cooking in stainless steel cabinets on the sidewalks everywhere and especially in front of grocery stores with a pan of cut up potatoes under the chickens catching and cooking in the chicken drippings at the bottom of the cabinet. The chicken is flavored simply with the cooking style being the star.

I don’t have a rotisserie so this is my version of the French roast chicken I had in France.

Tonight I made a simple roast chicken because… whole chickens were on sale for .88 per pound. I butterflied the chicken by removing the back bone. Then I rinsed the chicken in cold running water and dried it well with paper towels. I think drying the chicken accomplishes two things. First it allows the seasonings to stick to the chicken and second, I think it allows the skin to crisp up better.
I placed the chicken on a sheet pan and drizzled it lightly with olive oil then generously seasoned the chicken on both sides with kosher salt, black pepper and herbs de province. I then placed it skin side up in the middle of the pan allowing the bones to become a built in rack holding the chicken breast up off the pan just enough for it to cook perfectly.
I cut up a couple of potatoes and carrots and tossed them with a little olive oil and kosher salt then scattered them around the chicken. Attempting to keep the flavors simple, knowing that the potatoes and carrots would soak up the flavors from the chicken as it cooked.
I roasted the chicken in a 400 degree oven for 55 min. I cooked a 3 ½ pound chicken. If you roast a larger chicken add 5 min. increments of time until you get a golden brown color on the skin.
The end result was an extremely juicy breast while the dark meat cooked all the way through. The carrots got sweet and tender while the potatoes got creamy and soaked up the flavors of the chicken and herbs. Delish.

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