There are so many roast chicken recipes out there it is hard to keep track and frankly, I don’t understand why people try to hide the amazing flavor of a free range chicken with lemons, butter, vegetables and any other add-on that turns the oven into a steam-bath. Simplicity is key with kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper and some herbs. It is all about the size of the chicken, freshness and seasoning.
One year I had a client’s son, Higini and his best friend Quim, over from Andorra to work at our office in Washington, DC. I had them over for dinner when their dad came in for visit. I was trying to figure out what to cook and it dawned on me that the principality of Andorra is actually headed by two Co-Princes, the President of France and the Catholic Bishop of Spain as it sits between the two countries. It has been a running joke that Andorra pays the Co-Princesses with a few chickens and the village cow. Since the entire family eats healthy and the running joke of the chickens, I thought what better dish to serve?
Here is master chef Helene Cooper showing off her roast chicken:
- One 4-5 pound farm-raised chicken for every 4 guests, depending on appetites
- 2 tablespoons of chopped thyme or one tablespoon of chopped rosemary
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Roasting pan or baking sheet
- Meat thermomoter
- Rinse the bird(s). This is controversial as some say you create a biohazard around the sink when you wash them but I still do. Just be mindful of the spray.
- Pat dry with paper towels, inside and out.
- Put a tablespoon of kosher salt and 1/2 tablespoon of cracked pepper on the inside the truss the legs. Fold the wings underneath the bird.
- Evenly sprinkle a tablespoon of salt and 1/2 tablespoon of the pepper on top.
- Let sit for at least and hour in the refrigerator or up to 12 hours.
Time to Cook
- Set the oven to 450 degrees
- Put the birds in with the rack on the middle setting
- Roast for 50 minutes to an hour, it will be done when the bird reads 165 degrees
- Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before carving