Roasting a whole chicken may seem a little daunting , but this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa will take all your fears away!
I adapted Ina’s herbed roasted chicken by adding BUTTER! I mixed the butter with the herbs and rubbed it under and over the chicken. its cooked on top of thick country bread slices. The juices of the chicken soak into the bread and creates a beautiful dark, crusty and caramelized bread, that is also great to make croutons for a salad, or if you’re like me, eat it by itself.
What I like most about this recipe is how easy it is to adapt, the herbs and lemon in this dish can be substituted for whatever flavor combination you prefer.
1 whole chicken (4-4 ½ lb.)
½ stick of softened butter
4 sprigs of thyme
2 large garlic cloves, smashed flat
1 lemon, quartered
2 tsp. sea salt, plus extra for serving
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
3 to 4 slice of country bread ( ¾-inch-thick)
First, preheat oven to 500 degrees F and position rack on the lower third rack in the oven.
In a small bowl, mix the butter, herbs and salt and pepper.
Using your fingers, gently loosen the skin from the breasts and thighs without breaking the skin. Pat the chicken dry and rub the butter over and under the chicken skin. Place the quartered lemon in the cavity. Season generously with salt and pepper. Let sit for 20 minutes.
While the chicken sits, prepare the cast iron pan. Cut thick slices of bread, (3/4-inch-thick). Place the slices in the cast iron pan.
Place the chicken breast side up on the bread and brush lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Tuck the wings under the body.
Let the chicken roast for 30 minutes then flip the chicken over and cook for another 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the breast is at 165 F, and the thighs are around 170 F.
Once the chicken is done, remove from oven, cover with aluminum foil and let the chicken rest for 30 minutes. ( It is important to allow the chicken rest to ensure a juicy chicken. The chicken will still be hot)
When 30 minutes are up, remove the chicken from pan and carve how you desire. The bread will be very toasted, even burnt but that is supposed to happen as it has socken up all the juices of the chicken, and caramelized.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa