Ina Garten (aka, the Barefoot Contessa) roasts a chicken every Friday night for her husband Jeffrey when he makes the long drive out to their home in the Hamptons. How homey and inviting that sounds! Of course, Jeffrey is one lucky guy to be coming home to anything Ina makes, but a flavorful roast chicken is just one of those satisfying staples that always seems to please and is pretty easy to pull together. The Herb-Crusted Roast Chicken recipe I’m sharing today isn’t from Ina, but I’m quite sure Jeffrey would find it quite worth the drive home to “the island”.
The original recipe called for rubbing the herbs and seasonings only on the outside of the bird, but I always enjoy inserting them under the skin along with a few pats of butter for even more flavor. I’d never used chives before in a chicken herb rub mixture, but they were a nice alternative to onions or garlic. Suffice it to say the kitchen smelled positively divine for the rest of the day.
Herb-Crusted Roast Chicken
Adapted from the Herb Encrusted Roast Chicken recipe inside the O Organics Thyme package
Makes 8 servings
1 roasting chicken, 7 to 8 lbs.
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 2 tablespoons chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 2 tablespoons chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup chicken broth
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Remove giblets and neck from chicken, rinse inside and out and pat dry. Place sprigs of herbs in cavity. Tie legs together loosely.
In a small bowl, mix rosemary, thyme, chives, salt and pepper. Slice butter into 4 small pats and insert under breast skin. Insert half of herb mixture under the skin of the breast and legs (cutting slits in the skin is helpful). Brush chicken with oil. Rub the remaining herb mixture all over chicken.
Place breast side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. The pan should comfortably hold the chicken; if it is too large the drippings in the bottom will burn. Pour broth into pan. Cover chicken loosely with foil. Roast 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Remove foil and roast uncovered for 80 to 90 more minutes, basting occasionally with pan juices. Chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 180°F. Remove to a cutting board or platter. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.
See the Recipe Index for all the recipes on Cooking On the Side.