I'll be honest - chicken can get a little boring.
...and let me finish before you start throwing tomatoes, eggs and coconuts over this way! Even though I much prefer pork and beef over everyone's favorite (eating) bird, I actually like roast chicken - a lot! What's not to like about roast chicken? It's easy, it's fast, it's tasty and it's cheap.
The cool thing about making roast chicken is that there are so many different ways to go about roasting it. As far as I know, there is no right way or one correct way of roasting a chicken - everyone's preparations will differ somewhat. On school nights or extremely lazy Sundays, I'll just wash the outside and inside of the chicken, pat it down with paper towels, dry it in the fridge for an hour, stuff it with whatever I have, rub the outside with olive oil, salt and pepper before it goes in the oven. And wait for it - I don't even truss the bird if I'm feeling really rebellious.
Like my lazy-ass way shows, roasting doesn't have to be complicated and it's something that anyone can do at home. For the sake of the blog, I decided to pull out the Les Halles Cookbook and make Bourdain's recipe for poulet roti. It's pretty straightforward like my lazy method but a fragrant herb butter goes underneath the skin to keep the meat moist while roasting in the Les Halles version. Let's make the herb butter shall we?
Get a stick of butter out of the fridge and leave it on the counter top for awhile until it gets softened. Meanwhile, you can go ahead and give that chicken a rinse (both inside and out) and pat it dry with paper towels. Stick the chicken in the fridge away from everything else (unless you want to be on cipro for a week) to air dry. When the butter's finally softened, mix together a tablespoon each of finely chopped basil, parsley, thyme and rosemary. Also add in half a tablespoon of honey and season with salt and pepper. Mix everything together with your
weapon utensil of choice until evenly distributed. Set aside until you need it or stick it in the fridge for later use.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and get that bird out of the fridge. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Carefully, lift the edge of the skin on each side of the chicken breast and push a tablespoon of herb butter underneath. Push the butter along gently until it's evenly spread out along the breast. Don't be like me. If you have a glob of butter in one spot, you'll end up burning the skin. Got it? Good. Feel free to stuff some butter underneath the thighs and legs also. It's only gonna get tastier.
Stuff the chicken with half a lemon, half an onion, a sprig of rosemary and sprig of thyme. Truss the chicken at this point but you don't have to if you don't want (or know how) to. Easy button people. Drizzle olive oil all over the outside of the chicken and rub the outside to spread the oil out. Season generously with salt and pepper - it needs it.
Place the chicken on a roasting rack with random veggies around and pour half a cup of white wine into the pan. You can also do this on top a bed of vegetables using a cast iron skillet like I did. Place in the oven for 30 minutes. Baste the chicken occasionally if you want. After 30 minutes, crank the heat up to 450 degrees F and roast for another 25 minutes.
Take the chicken out of the oven after roasting and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving. If you're worried about whether the chicken's cooked through or not, poke a knife at the fattest part of the knife. If the juices that run out are clear, it's cooked. If it's pink or red, stick it back in the oven for 5 - 10 more minutes until it's cooked through.
While the chicken rests, you can make gravy by adding a cup of white wine to the pan over high heat and scraping the brown stuff from the bottom of the pan. Bring the juices to a boil and cook until the gravy reduces by half. Finish the gravy off with a little butter, throw in a bit of finely chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper.