Roast Chicken

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.

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Cook a chicken in the morning and carve it up for a beach lunch.  This is our “Beach Mahal” we set up for special occasions.

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:

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Ingredients

  • 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

The Tools

  • Roasting pan or baking sheet
  • Twine
  • Meat thermomoter

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Making It

  • 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
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Chicken dinners are a big hit, easy to do and a great comfort food.

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