It's time for "Part 2" of J's and my recent at-home date night feast. (If you missed the salad course posted earlier this week, check it out here.)
I'm highlighting the DELICIOUS main course next. Oddly enough I had never cooked with a whole chicken prior to this recipe. As you know, I'm a big freezer and often use frozen chicken breasts whenever recipes call for chicken. This time, I decided to go fresh and whole. The recipe just wouldn't have been the same had I not.
Just a few notes before digging into this dish. The cookbook says to salt the chicken 1 to 3 days before roasting to ensure that the salt has time to soak into the meat. Salting the chicken right before roasting only allows the salt to seep into the skin, and not the actual meat. I, of course, did not do this, however, we both thought the chicken came out fantastic.
Herb-Butter Roasted Chicken
- 1 (3 to 4 lb) whole chicken
- 2 tsps of salt
- 1 tsp of ground pepper
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped herbs like chives, parsley, tarragon, and basil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp of grainy mustard
- 2 Tbsps of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 Tbsps of extra-virgin olive oil
1. Prepare your chicken 1 to 3 days ahead of time. Remove the giblets and sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper inside and out. Place in a small roasting pan in the refrigerator, uncovered.
2. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before roasting. Pat dry with a paper towel.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
4. In a small bowl, stir together the herbs, garlic, mustard, and butter. Carefully separate the chicken skin from the breasts and tuck some of the herbed butter under it, massaging it into the meat. Then, spread the remaining butter all over the chicken skin and in the cavity.
5. Heat the olive oil over high heat in a large, oven-safe skillet. Add the chicken to the pan, breast-side DOWN. Allow the breast to sear for 4 minutes without moving. Remove from the heat and place in the oven.
6. Roast for 60 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Every 20 minutes, spoon the butter-and-herb drippings rom the pan over the chicken, coating the skin.
7. Remove the chicken from the pan and let it rest on a cutting board for 15 minutes before carving.
The chicken is accompanied by a tarragon aioli pictured in the gravy dish above. I'm not going to leave the recipe because we personally didn't like it and thought the chicken was best left alone.
I am, however, proud of myself for making it from scratch since it takes a lot of time and arm muscles to continue to whisk it for as long as it calls for.
I can't wait to share with you the maple roasted carrots recipe. They were the perfect side dish for this meal! Keep watch on the blog for it.