There are few things more comforting to me than a simple roasted chicken. That crispy skin and tender juicy meat, well, if you cook it right that is. Here is how that happens:
- One 5 to 6 pound chicken (free-range preferably)
- 6 to 8 strips of bacon
- 1 head of garlic, halved
- 2 yellow onions, 1 halved and 1 chopped
- 2 sticks of softened unsalted butter
- 1 orange, halved
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 bunch each of rosemary, sage, and parsley
- 2 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Rinse the chicken with cool water, inside and out. Dry it with paper towels. Divide the herbs, keeping 1/2 of them whole. Finely chop the other half. In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the chopped herbs, until combined. Rub the herbed butter under the skin, as well as all over the outside of the chicken. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the orange, lemon, garlic, the halved onion, and the remaining whole herbs. In a roasting pan, place the chopped onion on the bottom and place the chicken, breast-side up, on top of the onions. Lay the strips of bacon across the breast of the chicken and roast for 25 minutes.
Remove the bacon and baste the chicken with the drippings and cook for another 25 to 30 minutes to brown the skin. The chicken is done when a thermometer reads 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. Remove the chicken to a platter and let it cool for 10 minutes. This will redistribute the juices back into the meat.
Meanwhile, remove the onion from the roasting pan. Tilt the pan so the drippings collect in one corner, and skim off as much fat as possible, leaving the drippings. Place the roasting pan on top of the stove over medium heat and take a wooden spoon to scrape up the flavor from the bottom of the pan. Stir the flour into the drippings to make a roux or paste. Pour in the chicken stock or broth in stages; continue to stir to dissolve the flour evenly to prevent lumps. Squeeze in the juice of the oranges and lemons from the cavity of the bird, stir in the wine and season.
Carve the chicken, serve it with the citrus gravy and some creamy mashed potatoes. Yum!