Herb Roasted Chicken

Every week I receive several bunches of fresh herbs in my CSA bag from La Nay Ferme, which can include thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil and sage. I rinse the herbs, then roll them in paper towels and place them in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator. They stay fresh and fragrant for at least a week, sometimes longer. I use the herbs daily in vegetable dishes, pasta, soups, pestos, marinades, and with braised and roasted meats. As autumn approaches I love to roast chicken stuffed with onion, garlic, lemon, and lots of fresh herbs. There are many recipes for roast chicken but this is our favorite. I think a 3-1/2 lb. chicken is the ideal size for roasting, but it doesn’t feed very many people. Rather than roasting a much larger bird, I prefer to roast two smaller ones. I salt and stuff the bird an hour before it goes in the oven. I begin roasting at a high heat to seal in the juices, then lower the temperature and continue cooking. The bird comes out of the oven perfect every time.

Herb Roasted Chicken
1 (3-1/2 lb.) whole chicken
2 Tbsp. + 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, peel on
Sprig each of fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano
2 fresh basil leaves
2 fresh bay leaves
1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
Sprinkle of onion powder
1/4 lemon

Pat the chicken dry one hour before placing it in the oven. Rub the outside with 2 Tbsp. kosher salt. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt in the cavity, along with the pepper. Stuff the cavity with onion, garlic and herbs, and bay leaves. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Place a cast iron grill pan in a cold oven and preheat to 425 degrees for 30-45 minutes. When ready to roast the chicken, brush the skin with melted butter. Sprinkle with onion powder. Squeeze the lemon over the skin, then place it in the cavity. Transfer the chicken to the hot grill pan and roast at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking for 45 minutes or until, using an instant read thermometer, the internal temperature registers 170 degrees at the deepest part of the thigh. Remove pan from the oven and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before cutting. Pour pan drippings over chicken pieces. Serves 4.

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