The Literate Chef

Roasted Chicken with Tarragon and Lemon Zest

In Chicken, Meat, Recipes on October 31, 2011 at 6:56 AM

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 Bell & Evans roasting chicken, about 7 lbs.
4 tbsps. unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1 lemon
Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black pepper
1 cup dry white wine

Preparation:

1.    Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
2.    Zest the lemon to obtain about 2 tablespoons of zest. Retain the lemon for step 6.
3.    Using a fork, blend the chopped tarragon and lemon zest into the softened butter.
4.    Starting above the cavity, gently slip one or two fingers between the skin and the meat of the chicken’s breast to lift the skin and create a pocket.
5.    Take ½ the butter mixture and gently slip it into the pocket on one side of the breast bone, then do the same on the other side, spread the butter mixture by smoothing over the skin.
6.    Slice the lemon in half and place it in the chicken cavity.
7.    Generously salt and pepper the chicken skin.
8.    Place it on a roasting rack in a roasting pan and roast for 25 minutes per pound (about 3 hours for a 7 pound chicken).
9.    About 90 minutes into the roasting, baste the chicken with the juices that have collected in the pan, pour the wine over the chicken and continue roasting for 30 minutes.
10.    Baste the chicken, raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue roasting for 1 hour.
11.    Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh, if it reads 175 degrees or more it is done.
12.    Remove the roasting pan from the oven, place the chicken on a platter and cover with foil, let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
13.    Place the roasting pan on a stove top burner. Make a gravy by pouring the drippings from the roasting pan into a fat separator. Let the fat rise to the top, pour the drippings back into the pan, heat to a boil on low, whisk in several tablespoons of flour to thicken the gravy to your desired consistency. If too thick, add more wine and boil off the alcohol.

Serve with Roasted Herbed Vegetables and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

The vegetables and potatoes can both be cooked at the same, during the last hour that the chicken is roasting at 375 degrees, and the prep can be done while the chicken is in the early roasting stage.

Arneis, a crisp, flavorful, Piemontese white wine from the Roero goes great with this dish, as its hints of lemon are in perfect harmony with the flavors of the chicken.

Please see: Sunday Chicken Dinner – No Leftovers!

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