This holiday season, some of us may be celebrating with a small group, or just our sweetie. So, it may not make sense to cook a whole roast, or turkey, just for two (or four, for that matter).
There are many ways to roast a chicken, but this is my favorite: simple, yet bursting with flavor, and elegant enough for a small celebration. It’s also perfect for a Sunday supper. Once you make this chicken you’ll never again reach for that dry rotisserie bird at the supermarket.
The recipe is adapted from Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food. She’s my go-to for all things simply delicious. There are few things more simple than a roast bird, but a roast bird can easily end up dry or flavorless. With just a few simple steps, (and a little planning) this recipe transforms a plain roast chicken into something lovely.
First, select your bird. If you can get one from the farmer’s market, that’s great. If not, look for one that’s organic and free range.
The night before you plan to cook it, sprinkle the bird all over with salt and pepper. Slice a few cloves of garlic and slip them under the skin of the breasts and thighs. Take a few sprigs of rosemary and slip them under the skin as well. They will perfume the flesh while it sits overnight, and while it cooks.
Pull the bird out of the fridge about an hour before you plan to cook it. Rub it all over with a little olive oil. Stuff the cavity with rosemary and thyme.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the chicken in a small roasting pan, breast side up. Roast it for 20 minutes. Turn the bird breast side down and roast for another 20 minutes. Turn the bird breast side up again and roast until done, about 20 minutes more.
Let the bird rest for 10 minutes before you carve it.