A cold day calls for a really hot oven to help keep you toasty and warm. And what sounds better than a Roast Chicken for dinner?
Adapted from Roasting: A Simple Art (William Morrow, 1995)
Serves 2 to 4
5- to 6-pound chicken at room temperature, wing tips removed
1 lemon, halved
4 whole garlic cloves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup chicken stock, water, fruit juice, or wine for optional deglazing
1. Place rack on second level from bottom of oven. Heat oven to 500°F (or
for convection, reduce to 450°F).
2. Remove the fat from the tail and crop end of the chicken. Freeze the neck
3. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the lemon, garlic, and butter, if
using. Season the cavity and skin with salt and pepper.
4. Place the chicken in a 12 x 8 x 1 1/2-inch roasting pan breast side up.
Put in the oven legs first and roast 50 to 60 minutes, or until the juices run
clear. After the first 10 minutes, move the chicken with a wooden spoon or
spatula to keep it from sticking.
5. Remove the chicken to a platter by placing a large wooden spoon into the
tail end and balancing the chicken with a kitchen spoon pressed against the
crop end. As you lift the chicken, carefully tilt it over the roasting pan so
that all the juices run out and into the pan.
6. Optional: Pour off or spoon out excess fat from the roasting pan and put
the roasting pan on top of the stove. Add the stock or other liquid and bring
the contents of the pan to a boil, while scraping the bottom vigorously with a
wooden spoon. Let reduce by half. Serve the sauce over the chicken or, for
crisp skin, in a sauceboat.
Photo by Nicole Franzen