I’m no longer an advocate for fancy food or fine dining. I think I’m over it.
For years, we’d travel and go to all the best restaurants in town. And when we lived in Mexico, it was all about eating the best food and drinking the best wine, all the time. Perhaps I’ve grown up, perhaps my palate has changed or who knows what it is, but now I’m into simplicity.
Fresh ingredients prepared simply. That’s my motto.
And since David was such a trooper with the months and months of planning my 25-year reunion, I thought I should make him a special meal that would let him know how much I love him and appreciate him putting up with all the hoopla, of which there was plenty.
We bought a pastured chicken last weekend at the farmers market and, knowing how he loves a perfectly roasted chicken, I thought I would make it for him. Because, let’s face it, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
So, here’s to David putting up with early morning and late night calls, meetings, meetings and more meetings. Oh, for his final save at the last minute.
And here’s to the fact that it’s over.
P.S. When David read this and discovered what his reward was for his undying patience and understanding, he remarked, “This is what I get…a f*cking chicken?” To which, I burst into laughter, nodded yes and said as I continued to laugh hysterically, “Yes, this is what you get.”
Perfectly Roasted Chicken
- 1 3-5 lb. chicken preferably pastured
- kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 handfuls fresh herbs basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, chives, etc., finely chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 lemon halved
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place the roasting tray or vessel in the oven so it heats up as well.
Wash chicken inside and out and pat it dry with paper towels. Rub the cavity with salt. Carefully grab the skin at the tip of the chicken breast and pull up gently. With your other hand, gently separate the skin from the breast meat.
Sprinkle a little salt in the gaps, push back as much of the chopped herbs as you can and then drizzle a little olive oil.
Stuff the chicken with the lemon, bay leaves and rosemary and whatever may be left of the chopped herbs.
Pull the skin of the chicken breast forward so that none of the actual flesh is exposed and tuck the little winglets under.
Rub a little olive oil over the skin of the chicken and season generously with kosher or sea salt and pepper. Remove the hot tray from the oven. Pour a few glugs of olive oil on the tray and swirl it around so it coats the tray.
Place the chicken on the tray on its side, breast-side down, and put it in the oven. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, then flip the chicken on its other side, breast-side down, and cook for another 5 minutes.
Place the chicken on its back and cook for 1 hour. The chicken is done when the juices run clear (not pink) or when the temperature of the chicken breast is 165-170 degrees and 180-185 degrees for the thigh.
When the chicken is completely cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving.