Perfect Roast Chicken and Pan Sauce

Poulet Roti (French for Roast Chicken). Roasting a chicken properly takes practice, I know it should be a simple thing, but all to often the results are a dry bird or underdone. Now one thing you will have to get used to is the fact that you will see some red close to the bone. If you follow the food police and make sure your internal temp is right you will be fine. I rarely use a thermometer on a roast chicken. My method is simply to be consistent with the size of the bird I cook(4-4.5 lbs) and the time frame I will give you in the recipe. When the time is up just prick the skin on the fattest part of the thigh, if the juice that runs out is clear, not pink, not red, but absolutely clear, it is a pretty safe bet your bird is done. Now don’t go poking it all over or all the good stuff will run out while it is resting. And yes while it is resting on your carving board it will continue to carry over cook from the heat trapped inside. Once you master this dish you will be the envy of your guests. You will be serving them up a juicy flavorful chicken that is great all by itself, but when you pour a little of the pan sauce over it, you achieve an even greater level of flavor. Here is what you will need:

1 Whole Chicken about 4 lbs

1 Lemon

1 Onion

1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary

1 Sprig Fresh Thyme

4 Tbsp Herb Butter Recipe here  

1-2 Tbsp unsalted Butter

1 1/2 Cups White Wine (If you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it) 

A little Chopped Parsley

Okay, Start by removing the giblets and all other extra pcs from the cavity. Run some cold water into the bird and rinse it out. Pat dry with some paper towels and then season the inside cavity with salt and pepper. Now wash your hands, and reach over and set your oven to 375 degrees. Cut the lemon in half and place into the cavity. Cut the onion in half and place one half into the cavity. Now insert the Rosemary and Thyme. Make sure everything is tucked in snuggly and truss the legs together with some kitchen twine to make sure it all stays in place.

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Now gently slip your fingers under the skin near the cavity and separate it from the breast meat. Do this step gently so as not to rip the skin. This is where you will slide the herb butter under the skin, 2 Tbsp on each side. Salt and pepper the outside, try to get every nook and cranny, then rub the entire outside of the bird with the Unsalted butter, getting as complete coverage as you can.

Set your rack into the roasting pan and cut the other half of the onion in half again and lay it on the rack. On top of the onion, place the giblets, and finally set the bird on top of this. Pour a 1/2 cup of the wine into the bottom of the pan and place into your pre-heated oven. Let it cook for 30 Mins. Basting occasionally with the pan juices. and at about the 15 min mark, Rotate the pan to avoid hot spots. When the 30 Mins are up, increase the oven temp to 450 Degrees and cook for about another 25 mins, this will result in a beautiful golden brown and crisp skin bird. When it’s done remove from the pan and set on the board for at least 15 mins before carving.

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While it is resting it is time to make the pan sauce. Take the rack out of the roasting pan and  Set the pan onto a burner set to med high heat and with a wooden spoon scrape the fond from the bottom of the pan. Add the 1 cup of wine and reduce by half. Once the sauce has reduced and thickened a bit. remove the onion and giblets and discard them. Stir in a Tbsp of butter to finish, then as soon as you remove it from the heat, stir in the chopped parsley. You now have an amazing pan sauce that will be a wonderful compliment to your chicken friend over there on your board. Carve your bird and pour some sauce over the portions when you serve it. Stand back and watch the happy faces as they devour the best chicken they have ever had.

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Cook from the heart, taste the love

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