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Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Garlic

Serves 4 to 6

I sometimes forget that roasting a whole chicken is one of the simplest and most delicious presentations for the bird. This recipe is very versatile. You can use any herbs you like, preferably fresh, and add spices as desired. The sauce is not necessary. You can just use broth and wine to deglaze the pan and reduce as desired.

Ingredients

   Chicken    Sauce (see comments above)

Preheat oven to 450° F. Pat the chicken dry. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Place the garlic, lemon and herbs inside the cavity. Rub the outside with olive oil. Place breast side up on a rack in a small roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes, basting every 10 minutes with pan juices, or with water if needed. Reduce heat to 375° F. Continue to roast and baste for another 30 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 170° and the juices run clear. Remove from pan and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Discard any excess fat from roasting pan. Place over medium-high heat. Add the broth and wine; bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Add the garlic, sage and rosemary. Continue to cook until slightly reduced. Add the cream and cook until reduced to desired consistency. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needed. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter. Serve with the chicken and as a topping for a potato, rice or pasta side dish.

Notes: I make a broth using the neck, gizzard and heart from the chicken. I cook them in water until tender with a bay leaf, and half each of a small onion, carrot and celery. It takes about the same time to cook as to roast the chicken. If you end up with less than two cups, add some water.