Roasted chicken, “easy” someone might say 🙂 instead to cook well a whole chicken I think it’s not that easy, and for cooking it well I mean to have juicy meat (also the breast!), nice skin (possibly crunchy) and beautiful fresh flavor of fresh herbs.
Most of the times I choose to cook the chicken in pieces, that’s easier (especially if you use good quality free range chicken, that usually have firmer meat), but we can’t deny that to bring a whole chicken on the table it’s a completely different thing 🙂 so here I am trying to show a very good way to obtain a beautiful result, after I saw it explained by Giuliano Sperandio (chef at the 2 Michelin restaurant “Le Clarence” in Paris) and after I also had a good result following his tips.
- 1 whole chicken (this was 1,4 kg cleaned)
- pancetta/poitrine fumé/lardo (50-70 grams about)
- half lemon
- fresh rosemary
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- a knob of butter
- extra virgin olive oil
- First of all we have to gut the chicken (if it’s not already cleaned) and remove/burn the possible remaining feathers. Then we cut the pancetta/lardo in big pieces and we place it inside the chicken, together with half lemon cut in 2 pieces, some fresh rosemary and one clove of garlic, and also some salt. Then we close it and we try to tie the legs (as in the photo, in this case mine was already tied).
- Then we take a cast iron cocotte (large enough to contain the chicken), we place the chicken, and we spread extra virgin olive oil on all its body, and then we season with salt.
- First we start cooking it on a fire, so the heat starts already to penetrate in the thighs. We place the chicken on one side and we cook it at medium high heat for let’s say 4-5 minutes, then we turn it on the other thigh and we cook for other 4-5 minutes.
- After that we live the chicken on one side, we cover it with an aluminium foil and we place it in the oven (already hot) at 180 °C, fan assisted mode, for 17-18 minutes.
- After that time, we turn the chicken on the other thigh, we cover it again with aluminium foil, and bake for other 17-18 minutes.
- After that time (so all together about 35 minutes in the oven), we remove the aluminium foil, we place the chicken on its back, we pour its liquids all over it and we keep baking it for other 25 minutes about. Sometimes open the oven and pour its liquids over it.
- Then, for the last 5 minutes we add a knob of butter on the top of the chicken, pour again its liquids over it, add 1 or 2 cloves of garlic and a generous amount of fresh rosemary: this will add a nice fresh perfume and flavor to the chicken. If the skin is not yet as you would like, you can increase the temperature to 200 °C.
- After this time a chicken of this size should be ready, if you want to be sure measure the temperature and the core of the thighs, it must be around 83-84 °C.
- Now place the chicken upside down (staying on the head), for example placing it over a crown made with aluminium foil, cover it also with an aluminium foil, and let it rest for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile deglaze the cocotte with some lemon juice, and collect all the liquids, that’s an amazing sauce to pour over the meat!
- After that time you can finally cut and eat your chicken 🙂 serve it next to some seasonal vegetables (I opted for new potatoes and green asparagus), and if you would like you can prepare for example also a Béarnaise sauce 🙂
PS: obviously chicken of different size will require different times. If you control the temperature as explained above, you can be sure when your chicken is ready.