Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Roast Chicken

One of the great culinary tests is to see how one stacks up when roasting a chicken. Roast chicken is one of the classic dishes that is deceptively difficult to carry off with aplomb and so delicious when done well. So many people are accustomed to buying pre-roasted chicken at the store that I doubt that many people even bother to roast their own any longer. People have often asked me what I would make for dinner were the President to come for dinner. The answer has always been roast chicken.

Roast Chicken, a Simple Pleasure
I stuffed my bird with two lemon halves and the sprigs of rosemary and lavender that I had left from garnishing a charcuterie plate last Sunday. I don't know if the herbs actually contribute anything to the taste of the meat, but they smell fantastic while roasting. Our house was redolent of chicken, rosemary, lavender, and garlic Monday night. A rubdown with extra virgin olive oil and a good amount of salt and pepper readies the bird for the oven. As you can see, I tucked the wing tips under so that they wouldn't burn, but I did not truss the bird. Sometimes I truss the bird, sometimes not. I feel like the bird cooks better without trussing.

Roast Potatoes and Garlic
The perfect accompaniment to roast chicken is roast potatoes with whole cloves of garlic. This is such a great combination that I almost never roast potatoes without a lot of garlic cloves. I love how sweet and tender garlic becomes after roasting.

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