The first time I roasted a chicken using this method we were so pleased with the results that it’s still the only way we roll! It’s juicy, crisp-skinned and so easy to make. You’ll also see that the chicken for the most part, is roasted breast down. This is also the method we use for roasting turkey. Everyone complains about overcooked breast meat, well, by using this method the bird is actually self basting! It’s my experience that a roasting chicken has a lot more chicken-ness than a frying chicken. There is nothing like a good roast chicken to take along on a picnic, accompanied by a salad and a glass of cold white wine or a rose!
For Roast Chicken:
4 lb. roasting chicken, rinsed
Parsley, ½ a lemon, 2 garlic cloves and a piece of onion (even fennel fronds, rosemary, fresh thyme sprigs or sprigs of fresh sage, if you have some). You can choose whichever ones appeal to you.
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Season the cavity of the chicken with salt & pepper. Stuff with the parsley, lemon, garlic and onion. Tie up the legs of the chicken with kitchen string. Also tie up the wings or bend and turn them under to keep in place.
Generously salt & pepper the skin of the chicken & rub down with EVOO. Place breast down on a oiled rack in a roasting pan. We bought a v-shaped roasting rack years ago for using on the barbecue, but find it works great for oven roasting too!
Place in the oven & roast for 15 minutes at 450 F; turn the oven down to 375 F & continue roasting for 1 to 1 hour 15 minutes. If you wish you can turn the chicken breast side up during the last 15 minutes of roasting. Test for doneness by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the leg, without touching bone, to see if the juices run clear. Or check with an instant read thermometer. It should read 165 F. When done, remove from oven & let rest 20 minutes before carving.
Stuff the chicken with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary & thyme; lay some thinly sliced pancetta over the back of the chicken & tie as above.
Combine 1 tsp. Kosher salt, 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. fennel pollen (or finely ground fennel seeds) with 1/2 tsp. dried thyme & 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper; rub the chicken all over with a couple of tablespoons of EVOO. Toss 1/2 sliced onion with EVOO, place in the bottom of the roasting pan (see instructions above), top with 4 – 6 large sprigs fresh rosemary, then place the rack & the chicken on top. Roast using the method above.
If you would like to make a sauce after the chicken is finished; remove the chicken to a warm serving platter, lay a piece of foil over top. Remove the rosemary from the pan & place the pan over medium high heat. Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup dry white wine or Marsala until reduced by half; add 1 cup chicken stock; reduce down by half, serve over the chicken. You can thicken the sauce a bit if needed, by making a slurry with a bit of potato starch & wine or stock; stir into the sauce a bit at a time until it’s the consistency you wish.