When it comes to the classics, look to the pros. Chef Jordan Mackey of Sobre Mesa in Sudbury shares his expertise in this well-executed roast chicken recipe, which you can roll out whenever the mood strikes. Generously seasoned and undeniably tender, the juicy cooked-to-perfection dish needs little to no sauce, just a twist of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil. Pair it with fresh seasonal vegetables and potatoes, then voila! It’s a homestyle meal dressed for any occasion.
- 2 - 3 lb. whole chickens
- 4 cups water
- 10 thyme sprigs
- 1/2 bunch Italian parsley
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 4 sprigs tarragon
- 1 sprig sage
- 3 sprigs oregano
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 stalk of celery
- 2 shallots
- 5 garlic cloves
- Zest from 2 lemons
- Olive oil
- Remove breast, leg and thigh portions from the chicken carcass leaving skin intact on each half.
- Remove thigh bones from each portion and reserve portions.
- To make the brine, place all other ingredients in a high speed blender and puree until smooth ( it should taste salty).
- Place chicken portions in a deep casserole dish or tupperware and cover with brine. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Remove chicken portions from brine, wipe off excess brine and fold the leg and thigh portion over the breast, as to completely encapsulate the chicken in skin.
- Drizzle with olive oil and lightly salt the top (leg portion) of the chicken, then place on an oiled cookie sheet.
- Par cook at 350 degrees for about 15–18 minutes, remove and allow to come to room temperature.
- To finish roast chicken, bake at 375 degrees for 15–20 minutes until golden brown.
- Rest for 10 minutes prior to serving.