I can’t remember where I saw this recipe, but I’ve made it a few times by now. It is just so easy and delicious! My father came into town a few days ago and this was the dinner I made to impress him. I keep trying to get pictures, but the food gets torn into before I can snap any. It does smell awfully good while it’s cooking, so I can’t really blame anyone for diving right in. Next time, maybe.
1 whole fryer chicken
1 stick of butter, softened
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2-3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove any bits from inside the chicken (sometimes they’re in there, sometimes not), rinse the chicken inside and out, and pat dry. Sprinkle the chicken, inside and out, with salt and pepper. Using your finger, gently loosen the skin over the breasts. Combine the butter, sage, garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a bowl. Rub all of the butter over, around, and inside of the chicken. Put a few dollops of the butter underneath the skin you loosened.
Roast at 450 for 25 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and continue roasting for another 30-40 minutes. Test for doneness by pricking the thickest part of the thigh–if the juice runs clear, your chicken is cooked.
Remove from oven, cover with foil, and let rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.
When the chicken was roasting at the lower temperature, I roasted some carrots on the rack beneath it. This is so easy that it doesn’t even require a recipe: Chop fresh carrots into large rounds. If the carrot is especially thick at one end, chop those rounds in half. Scatter in an even layer across a pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and ground thyme. Roast until tender.
I also served haricotes verte. These are much more slender than regular green beans and cook much faster. Also, there’s no string to deal with. I quickly boiled them in a large pan, then rinsed them off in cool water to stop the cooking. In the pan, I put in a tablespoon of butter over medium heat, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. I threw the beans back in and tossed to coat.