21 May 2011

Perfect Roast Chicken

The original version of this recipe was in the October 1978 issue of Bon Appétit. I have used this recipe ever since and truly believe it is PERFECT. It's my go-to chicken recipe whether for family or company. When we moved from Texas to Alabama in 1980, my copy of the magazine was lost. Keep in mind this was before the internet, so I wrote to Bon Appétit, telling them of my dilemma. They kindly sent me a back issue at no charge and 5 photocopies of the recipe. How nice was that? I still cook from one of those photocopies - with notes of my changes, of course.

Several weeks ago we got to pre-order chickens from our CSA. Organically grown, pastured, free range. I put my name in for two and they were delivered this week. One went into the freezer and the other one was designated for Perfect Roast Chicken. My kitchen container garden is growing, so I was able to pick my own fresh herbs.

Perfect Roast Chicken

3½ - 4 lb broiler/fryer
½ lemon
seasoned salt (I normally use Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning)
freshly ground black pepper
1 small celery stalk, with leaves
3 sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
4 thin slices fresh ginger
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 tsp fresh thyme
2 green onions, chopped
1 large clove garlic, slivered
½ stick (4 Tbsp) butter, melted

1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot or bell pepper, diced
1 celery stalk, diced

½ cup chicken stock
½ cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp paprika (regular or smoked or a combination)

½ cup dry white wine
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Rinse the chicken, drain and pat dry. Rub the skin and cavity with lemon half. Sprinkle the inside of chicken with seasoned salt and pepper. Stuff with the lemon half, small stalk of celery, parley, bay leaf, ginger, peppercorns, thyme, green onions and garlic. Truss the chicken - tieing with string to hold wings behind the back and legs together. Be sure not to tie string across the breast.

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Brush the outside of chicken with melted butter (reserving the remainder for later) and sprinkle generously with seasoned salt and pepper. Place in roasting pan, breast side down and cook for 15 minutes. Turn chicken breast side up and roast 15 more minutes, brushing once with pan drippings. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 425°F.

Mix together the vegetables for the mirepoix and place on roasting pan. Set the chicken on top (breast side up). Pour chicken stock and ½ cup wine over the chicken and return to oven. Cook about an hour, basting occasionally with pan juices.

Stir paprika into the remaining melted butter and brush on chicken skin during the last 15 minutes of cooking. When the chicken is done, remove to platter and tent with foil. Let set for 10-15 minutes.

Remove accumulated grease from roasting pan. Add the other ½ cup of white wine to the pan drippings and vegetables. Place pan over medium heat and cook for 1 minute. Scrape bottom of pan to incorporate browned bits.

Use a blender to purée the vegetables and liquid; then bring to simmer in a small saucepan. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

Remove string from chicken and discard the vegetables inside the cavity. Carve and place sliced meat on serving platter. Spoon sauce over and serve immediately.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

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