Poulet Roti

“Many chefs claim to be able to tell everything about a prospective cook by how he or she roasts a chicken – and I can well believe it.”      Anthony Bourdain, from the Les Halles Cookbook

Although I am not accustomed to posting recipes that are not originals, I must admit I cannot take credit for this one…well entirely. As much as I would love to boast, I did not invent the roast chicken. This beautiful bird has been introduced in numerous kitchens long before I was born. I will say that through my experience as a novice cook, I have learned the tricks of the trade when it comes to this classic dish. My favorite thing about Poulet Roti, or French style roast chicken, is its simplicity. It requires little, just a little care and time and the results are fantastic. This deliciously understated recipe is loosely based on the traditional French Poulet Roti, and it is similar to the great Anthony Bourdain’s version, as well as the recipe of the beloved Julia Child. Poulet Roti has become a Linville family favorite, and hopefully it will make its way into your homes as well!

Poulet Roti
This dish is so versatile it can be paired with many different sides, roasted new potatoes and carrots with garlic, creamy mashed potatoes, a savory barley dish, or roasted root vegetables all are great choices. Be creative, but keep it simple!
1 whole chicken, approx. 4 lbs
sea salt & cracked black pepper
1- 1 1/2 oz. unsalted butter
1 sprig of fresh Rosemary
1 lemon, sliced in quarters
*optional : 1 onion, sliced in quarters and 1 sprig of fresh Thyme
1 1/4 cups good quality Chicken Stock (homemade would be best, but a good boxed Organic stock will do)
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2)Prepare the bird by trimming off excess skin and removing the giblets bag and excess fat from the inside cavity.
(I like to snip the tail with kitchen shears as well) rinse well with cold water and gently pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.
3) Salt and pepper inside the cavity, and place half of the butter, both the Rosemary& Thyme sprigs, and half of the lemon wedges inside the chicken.
4) Truss the chicken with twine or kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under. Gently rub the remaining butter on the outside skin of the chicken and generously salt& pepper. Be careful not to tear the skin!
5)Place in a large roasting pan, breast side down, and add the stock, remaining lemon, and onion wedges.
Roast for 60-70 minutes, basting every 30 minutes or so. Be sure to rotate the pan’s position  in the oven as you baste, so that it cooks and browns evenly.
**Repeat after me: “I will not over-cook this bird. I will not over-cook this bird!”  Please I beg you, do not ruin all of your hard work by destroying the integrity of the bird and turning it into a dry mess. To check, just poke the inside of the thigh with a small knife or skewer and if the juices are completely clear it’s done! Be sure to let it rest for a couple of minutes outside of the oven before you carve it. Now relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Please note: If you would like,  you can save the liquids from the roasting pan to create a simple rich sauce to serve alongside it. Simply skim off any fat residue, remove onion and lemon, and pour liquids into a sauce pan. Bring to a rapid boil until it forms a slightly thick syrupy sauce and pour into a serving dish. Serve over hot slices of roasted chicken.