Bistro Roasted Chicken

All, French, Poultry

This chicken, like most bistro fare, is simple enough for any time, but tasty and elegant enough for company or to impress an important date. A real bonus is the delicious sauce you get with very little extra work.

As usual, I recommend brining the chicken if you have time. Since chicken only needs to brine for an hour or two, see if you can work it into the schedule. The succulent, tasty, moist chicken that results is well worth the extra time.

Roast chicken is certainly one of the most satisfying of all the comfort food, and the house smells great the whole time. Try this recipe one time, and Forty Garlic Clove Roast Chicken next time.

The photo shows the chicken, with Pan Roasted Potatoes, and carrots that were roasted along with the chicken. I used baby carrots, which come in a bag already trimmed and cleaned, but you can use larger carrots chopped in chunks just as well.


Roasting pan with v-rack

1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds
2 lemons
1 medium onion, sliced
8 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
olive oil
black pepper
30-40 baby carrots or 6-8 larger ones, trimmed, peeled and cut in chunks
1-2 cups water
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons butter


Before brining the chicken, bag and set aside in the fridge the giblets and any other trimmings and excess fat from the chicken. After brining, rinse the chicken and pat it dry. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

With your fingers, separate the skin from the breast, and push a bay leaf under the skin next to the breast on each side. Do the same from the other end over the thighs. Then stuff the chicken with one lemon, quartered, a bay leaf, and the sprigs of thyme. Rub the chicken all over with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper.

Spray the v-rack and roasting pan with cooking spray. Put the reserved chicken parts, the carrots, the onion, two bay leaves, the other lemon, sliced, and water in the roasting pan. The water should be about 1/2 inch deep.

Place the v-rack in the roasting pan and lay the chicken on its side in the rack. Roast in the 400 degree oven about 40 minutes. Turn the chicken over, and roast another 30 minutes. During the roasting, add water to the pan if necessary.

When done, remove the pan from the oven, take the chicken off the rack and put on a plate or cutting board, and cover it. Let it sit while you finish the sauce.

Remove the v-rack and put the pan on the range over medium heat. Take out the carrots and put in a serving bowl, and cover to keep warm.

Remove and discard everything else from the pan except the pan juices. Add the cup of wine and scrape the pan to loosen the yummies (called fond) from the bottom of the pan. Taste for seasoning, add a few pinches of dried parsley, and salt and pepper if needed. Add the butter, and stir it into the sauce.

Carve the chicken and serve with the sauce and carrots, plus whatever potatoes or rice you made to go with it. Have some good dry white wine, a simple salad, and some fresh French bread to have a dinner to remember!

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