Jenise's post about her rotating turkey caught my attention last week. Going through Patricia Well's At Home in Provence I came across her recipe for Butter-Roasted Herbed Chicken. She stated that her greatest training came when she was taught the "rotation" method by Chef Joel Robuchon. I made it yesterday and it was excellent. Her ingredients called for lots of fresh herbs; chervil. Tarragon, chives and parsley. Since all I have of that list this winter is fresh parsley and not enough chives, I used fresh parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme for the compound butter, she called for.
Butter-Roasted Herbed Chicken
Equipment: One oval baking dish, just slightly larger than the chicken, fitted with a roasting rack (None of my roasting racks fit my oval dish, so I made my own rack my putting fresh carrots and shallots in the dish, and placed the chicken on top. The carrots and shallots were caramelized beautifully.
1 organic lemon
1 free-range roasting chicken (about 5 pounds)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 bunch fresh thyme
5 tablespoons finely minced fresh herbs, a mix of chervil, tarragon, chives and parsley
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
Preheat oven to 425°
1. Soften lemon by rolling it back and forth along a flat surface, pierce with two pronged fork about 20 times. Season chicken cavity with salt and pepper. Place lemon, thyme into cavity and truss.
2. Combine herbs, butter, salt and pepper to taste, and combine well
3. Entering from the neck end of the chicken, push your fingers beneath the skin all over the breast to release skin from chicken taking care not to break the skin. Spread half the butter mixture all over the breast under the skin. I used latex gloves to do this. Press on the skin to even out the butter mixture and put the skin back into place.
4 . Rub the remaining butter mixture all over the skin of the chicken, making sure to get under the wings.
5. Place the chicken on its side on the roasting rack. Place in oven and roast for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken to the other side and roast for 20 minutes more. Turn the chicken breast side up and roast for 20 more minutes.
6. Lower the heat to 375°. Turn the chicken breast side down at an angle with the tail up. (I used another carrot to raise the tail end higher) Roast until the juices run clear when you pierce the thigh with a skewer about 20 minutes more.
7. Turn off oven, remove chicken from oven to a platter, cover with foil and return back to oven, and leave the door open. Let rest at least 10 minutes. The resulting juices were very good. She suggested making a sauce, but I did not fuss with that as we used the au jus as it was.
Recipe had more fussing which I did not do, such as including the giblets in with the lemon. I also threw what every stems of thyme, rosemary, and sage I had left over onto the veggies on the bottom.