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Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken

I’ve always thought (and am not alone in thinking this) that the measure of a great chef or a fine restaurant, is the quality of a “simple” dish, like a roast chicken. And if I am in a restaurant where they have a roast chicken on the menu, that will be one dish ordered for sure.

A good roast chicken offers such a perfect palette upon which to paint your own vision of a great meal – a myriad of herbs, spices, citrus accents and wide variety of wine pairings… from a singles “eat for days” meal, to an intimate, yet casual, meal for two or a family… the options are endless…

Roast Chicken –
Photo courtesy of:


  • 1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
  • 4 carrots cut into 2­inch chunks
  • 1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
  • Olive oil
  • TIP: You can add or vary the spice influences by adding rosemary, or cumin to the butter rub, or add orange to the lemon and a squeeze of the juice to the butter
  • TIP: there is ongoing debate, but I have had great success making an herb butter and spreading it underneath the skin wherever possible. A bit too “hands­on” for some but…


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken.
  3. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic.
  4. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper.
  5. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.
  6. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan.
  7. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil.
  8. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.
  9. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.
  10. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes.
  11. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

Recipe courtesy of Richard and Bella

Wine Pairing

  • White: Chardonnay – this could be the perfect place for your fave Cali Chard – however humble or grand. It is also a perfect pairing with that special bottle of Chardonnay – be it Cali or white Burgundy or…but as a suggestion, try Foxen “Block UU” Chardonnay ($34.99). This Central Coast beauty is new to our market but quite a feather in our proverbial cap, just to be able to offer to you, our dear customer…
  • Red: Pinot Noir – I could go both or either, with this dish and be just as happy, but Pinot Noir is the perfect red pairing for this dish – especially if you are including some of the optional ingredients like orange and cumin…We think we’ll just stay with the Central Coast theme and recommend either Foxen Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir 2013 ($37.99) or Miura Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 2014 ($29.99), there is just something about Central Coast wines that add an element of food pair­-ability you don’t find so easily in other California growing areas.
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