It is easy to throw a chicken in the oven but to have a delectable, juicy treat, it takes some thought. In the summertime, I like to prepare my chicken in the morning, before the day heats up. I also like to serve the poultry at room temperature accompanied by picnic foods such as potato salad and fresh, local vegetables. I make a simple au jus from the drippings and reheat it in the microwave just before serving and pour it over the sliced bird for extra flavor.
Give this a try, you will be glad you did.
Dry a whole roasting chicken with paper towels.
Lightly salt the cavity and skin with kosher salt.
Let sit, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 1 hour up to overnight. (This helps keep the skin crisp.)
One hour before roasting, remove chicken from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.
During this hour, sprinkle more kosher salt in and on the chicken and stuff the cavity with one lemon sliced in half, one head of garlic, sliced in half, a few sprigs of rosemary and a few sprigs of thyme. Pepper the skin. Tie the legs together with string.
Prepare a melted mixture of 2 TB butter and 2 TB oil.
Chop one carrot and one onion and add to a roasting pan just large enough to hold the chicken,
Place the chicken in the roasting pan, breast side up. Tuck wing tips under the bird.
Brush chicken with butter-oil mixture.
Pop into a preheated 350 degree oven. Baste every 15 minutes for the first hour. Add a splash of white wine with the 30 minute basting.
Roast until the legs easily move, a deep poke into the dark meat runs clear fluid or the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
Remove from the oven and let sit, uncovered for at least ½ hour.
Slice onto a platter, cover and refrigerate until 45 minutes before serving.
After removing chicken from the roasting pan, place the pan on a burner and bring it to medium-high heat. Using a wooden tool, scrape the pan to release the flavors. Add a splash of white wine and cook it for 5 minutes. Add 1 C. chicken stock. Simmer to reduce and thicken. Taste for salt and pepper. Skim out vegetables and store gravy in microwave container for ease in reheating at serving time.