A family friend taught me this method to roast a chicken, and it will always be my go-to recipe. It requires very few ingredients, no giant roasting pan or trussing/stuffing involved, and it relies on the chicken's natural juices for impeccable flavor. Once you master this technique, you will impress your family and friends time and time again.
Technique tip: Adding pancetta for the last 30 minutes of cooking helps trap in the chicken's juices and offers a lovely, salty crunch to the finished product.
Swap options: You can swap out bacon for pancetta and red or white onion for the shallots.
- One 3-4 pound whole chicken
- 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 1 large stalk celery, diced
- 4 ounces pancetta, thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Pat chicken dry. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper.
3. In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken, breast-side down, and add the chopped shallots and celery, so they fall over the sides of the chicken. Cook for about 8 minutes and then flip chicken over. Cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Turn off heat, cover pan with foil and top with lid. Using oven mitts, place in oven and cook for one hour.
5. Remove pan from oven, remove lid and discard foil. Turn oven heat up to 450°F. Carefully drape pancetta over chicken. Place back in oven, uncovered, and cook for another 30 minutes.
6. Remove chicken from pan and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve breasts, thighs, legs and wings. Serve with juices from the pan.