Every chef has a favorite rendition of roast chicken. In mine, rosemary and lemon are the main flavors. I stuff the lemon, rosemary, and garlic under the skin and in the cavity, and I add some vegetables to roast around the chicken so they absorb the flavors as well. Served with a salad, this makes a complete meal. It was a favorite dish for me and my mother to share when it was just the two of us at home. Her favorite part was the wings, which she would eat with great care, down to every last morsel. What we had left over, we would turn into salad for lunch the next day, and then we’d make soup with the carcass. Chicken was Grandma’s favorite meat, whether in a soup, roasted, breaded, or in sauce to dress pasta. So I cooked chicken a lot for the two of us, especially as she got on in years. It made me so happy to see how she still enjoyed eating, well into her hundredth year, but let me tell you, she would let me know if the flavors were not right on target.
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 lemons, zested and quartered lengthwise
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Large (4-to-5-pound) roasting chicken
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound large carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 pound small red potatoes (halved if larger than walnuts)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Remove the leaves from 2 sprigs rosemary, and chop them. Add them to a small bowl with the lemon zest and garlic powder, and mix to combine. Loosen the skin on the chicken breast, and spread half of the mixture under it, taking care not to break the skin. Spread the rest over the chicken, and season all over and inside the cavity with 2 teaspoons salt and pepper to taste. Rub the chicken all over with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Stuff the lemon quarters and remaining rosemary sprigs in the cavity. Cut a small slit to loosen the skin on both sides of the breast cavity, and stick the opposite leg in each side, an easy way to truss it. Tuck the wings under the bottom of the bird.
Put the carrots and potatoes in a metal roasting pan large enough to fit the chicken without crowding, and season them with 1 teaspoon salt. Toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pour in the white wine and stock, and set the chicken on the bed of vegetables.
Roast, basting halfway through, until the chicken is golden brown and the internal temperature in the deepest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees, 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1/2 hours. Set the chicken on a cutting board to rest for 15 minutes.
While the chicken is resting, set the roasting pan over medium-high heat and bring the pan juices to a boil, to glaze the carrots and potatoes. Carve the chicken, and serve with the carrots and potatoes, spooning the pan juices over.