ROAST LEMON HERB CHICKEN with PAN ROASTED ONIONS & SEASONED CROUTONS
Roasted birds figure heavily in traditional holiday fare. We are giving the Sunday roast chicken a bit more elaborate treatment, but it is simple to prepare.
We salt the chicken and let it spend the night, unwrapped on a platter on the bottom shelf of the fridge—the chicken dries, which produces a browner, crispier skin. We start roasting the bird on its side, then flip it on the other before turning it breast side up to ensure that the breast meat stays moist and does not overcook. Butter can stand in for the duck fat. Truss the bird for better presentation at the table and easier carving. Lacking an experienced carver, use poultry shears along with your knife and platter your bird out of sight in the kitchen.
The chicken is roasted on a bed of onions that cook down to be meltingly sweet. A bit of Dijon is stirred into the pan juices for a flavorful sauce. It is served on a bed of seasoned croutons, so not a drop is wasted.
1 3- 4 lb. roasting chicken
1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon solid duck fat or butter
2 sprigs of rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
6 medium yellow onions, sliced in large wedges
I cup white vermouth (dry white wine is fine)
1/8 teaspoon of Fleur de Sel
I tablespoon of Edmond Fallot Dijon Mustard
2 cups of seasoned croutons (store brought or homemade)
PREPARE the CHICKEN for ROASTING.
The night before you plan to roast the chicken, pat it dry with paper towels. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of flaky sea salt in the cavity and 1 teaspoon over the skin. Put it on a plate, loosely covered. Set it on the bottom shelf of the fridge. This will guarantee crispy skin on your roast chicken.
Preheat the oven to 375° F.
Take the chicken out of the fridge ½ hour before roasting. Place the rack in the center of the oven. Rub the cavity with 1/2 of the lemon and leave it inside. Put a teaspoon sized knob of duck fat inside along with the herbs. Truss the bird if you will. Rub it all over with the remaining duck fat. Sprinkle on the black pepper.
MAKE the BED of ONIONS.
Put the onions in a lightly oiled roasting pan. Salt them. Pour the vermouth over them.
ROAST the BIRD.
Lay the chicken on its side on top of the onions. Baste the side facing up and roast for ½ hour. Turn it on its other side, baste it and roast ½ hour. Turn it breast side up and baste and roast for ½ hour more. Pull it from the oven when the thermometer inserted where the thigh meets the body reads 160°. Remove the chicken from the pan onto a cutting board. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Carve.
Place the croutons and onions onto a serving platter. Stir the mustard into the jus. Pour some of the jus over the croutons. Place the chicken on top of the croutons and pass. Serve the remaining jus on the side.