Recipe: My Perfect Roast Chicken (on this page)
Preheat the oven and a roasting tray to 425 F. Wash the chicken inside and out, and pat it as dry as possible with paper towels. Some people remove the wishbone, but I like to leave it in and later make a wish. Rub the cavity with salt; then, being very careful, grab the skin at the tip of the chicken breasts, making sure that it doesn’t rip, and pull up gently. With your other hand, gently separate the skin from the meat of the breast. It’s normally connected by a little bit of tissuey-type stuff, and you can either leave this attached in the middle and make two little tunnels either side, or you can try to cut away the middle. Sprinkle a little salt down the gaps that you have made and push in the chopped herbs. Drizzle in a little olive oil. I don’t always stuff the chicken but when I do I generally go with lemon, bay and rosemary, which I push into the cavity at this point. Pull the skin of the chicken breast forward so that none of the actual flesh is exposed, tuck the little winglets under and tie up as firmly as possible with kitchen twine.
To me, the perfect roast chicken has tender moist breast meat, crisp skin and, dare I say it, overcooked thigh meat. So at this point, simply slash across each thigh about 3 or 4 times and rub in some of the leftover herbs, which allows the heat to penetrate directly into the thigh meat, enabling it to cook faster. With your hand, rub a little olive oil into the skin of the chicken and season very generously with salt and pepper. Remove the hot tray from the oven and add a little oil. Put the chicken on one side, breast side down on the tray, and put back into the oven. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, then turn it over on to the other side, breast side down. Cook for another 5 minutes and then place the chicken on its back. Cook for 1 hour.
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