Sunday Roast Chicken
Here’s a terrifically simple way to roast a juicy bird, at two different temperature, that’s perfectly cooked on all four corners.
1 3–5-pound roasting chicken, brined overnight and air-dried in the refrigerator
freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, cut into quarters
1 head garlic, 1 clove set aside and the rest peeled and lightly crushed
handful each fresh basil and tarragon
7 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 loaf country bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 shallot, sliced paper thin on a mandoline
1 quart mixed heirloom tomatoes, cut into rustic chunks
healthy shot sweet sherry vinegar such as pedro ximenez
1. Preheat the oven to 300°. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the lemon quarters, lightly crushed garlic, and basil and tarragon, setting aside a few leaves of the herbs for the bread salad.
2. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan, breast side up with the wings tucked under its back, and tie the legs together to close the cavity. Roast at 300° for 1 hour, until both the thigh and the breast read 150° on a meat thermometer.
3. Thoroughly brush the chicken with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Increase the oven temperature to 400°. Return the chicken to the oven and roast until crispy and golden brown, 10–15 minutes. Set aside to rest while you prepare the bread salad.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the bread. Sauté until crispy and golden. Once it’s golden, grate the remaining clove of garlic and toss with the bread over the heat for 20 seconds more. Remove to a large bowl. Add the shallots and tomatoes to the bread in the bowl; drizzle with 4 tablespoons olive oil, the sherry vinegar, and torn leaves of the basil and tarragon; toss and set aside.
5. When you’re ready to serve, arrange the bread salad around the chicken in the roasting pan or on a platter.
From Seamus Mullen’s Hero Food.
Originally featured in Food Hero, Seamus Mullen