Food

Anna’s French Chicken

Z. and I are total food nerds and as such we have certain family traditions that revolve around food. Like we roast chickens. A lot. We don’t currently consider it a problem. It’s time consuming, but so enjoyable, and if we have a weeknight in or an empty Saturday/ Sunday evening, we are probably going to roast a chicken.

I find a lot of people shy away from roasting their own chickens, either from a lack of time or a fear that it is complicated to do. It does take a while to cook, but it isn’t hard cooking. As in, once you get it in the oven, you can pretty much ignore it for an hour or so, depending on the size of your bird. I usually pop it in, go watch tv for a bit, then come back 30 minutes later and start my sides. Or better yet, I’ll roast my sides too and be able to watch a whole episode of Call the Midwife.

Below is one of our favorite recipes to make. Simple and lightly flavored, it could not be easier to do. How is French? Well, this is a hobby blog, so the recipe is less authentically French and more Anna’s personal interpretation of what I might make if I lived in France/ it uses one French spice so it totally counts version of authentic. The key ingredient here is herbs de Provence, which is a mixture of savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano, lavender, and other herbs. The cheapest place to find it that I have found in World Market. Z. and I buy ours from our favorite, little spice shop in Cincinnati when we go up there.

Please note that the pictures I will be showing below are of a spatchcocked bird, something new I am playing with and trying. There is a post upcoming on that. However, you do not have to do anything fancy to your bird. So, picture your bird as whole.

The French supposedly are all about seasonal and simple flavors, and I support that decision. I paired this delicious dinner with roast potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts. Salt and pepper were the only seasoning.

Anna’s French Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 defrosted chicken. Don’t try to cook a frozen chicken. It’s not fun.
  • 2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 pat of butter, maybe.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 or 450°F. How long do you want this to take? Honestly, I tend to cook it at 425 because I can roast sides at the same temp and I don’t mind it taking a while longer.
  2. Remove your chicken from any plastic/ paper wrapping. Pull out any gullets or insides. Rinse the chicken, and then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. This is actually important. The drier the skin, the more deliciously crispy it can get.

    chicken, whole
    Nom, nom, salmonella.
  3. Throw some salt and pepper inside the bird.chicken, salt
  4. While you are salting, add some to the outside of the bird too. Just for giggles. Or flavor. Whatevs.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together garlic and herbes de Provence. Add in enough olive oil to make it slightly wet. The goal here is to make the mix adhere to the chicken, so the amount you add is based on how wet your garlic is. Add to outside of chicken.

    chicken, spiced
    Remember, spatchcocked. Your bird will look whole and such.
  6. Put the chicken in whatever you are roasting it in. My go to is a 8” square pyrex cake pan or my beautiful dutch oven. When the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven.                                                    chicken, pot
  7. Go drink a glass of wine or make yourself a cocktail.

    Mason jar old-fashioned
    Mason jar old-fashioned
  8. Roast it until it’s done, 50 to 60 minutes. Use your thermometer. I check my bird at 40 minutes for temperature and then every 5-15 minutes afterwards depending on the internal temperature. The key is to cook it until it is 160°.
  9. At this 40 minute mark, if your skin is not as crispy as you like, you can add a pat of butter to crisp it up. You can also use the juices at the bottom of the pan.
  10. At 160°, pull the bird and let it rest for 10-15 minutes on a cutting board.chicken cooked
  11. Cut it, serve it, eat it.                                     chicken plated

———————————————————————————————-

Easier to Cook by Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 or 450°F.
  2. Remove your chicken from any plastic/ paper wrapping. Pull out any gullets or insides. Rinse the chicken, and then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out.
  3. Throw some salt and pepper inside the bird. Salt outside. In a separate bowl, mix together garlic and herbes de Provence. Add in enough olive oil to make it slightly wet. Add to outside of bird.
  4. Put the chicken in whatever you are roasting it in. Place in oven.
  5. Roast it until it’s done, 50 to 60 minutes.
  6. At this 40 minute mark, if your skin is not as crispy as you like, you can add a pat of butter to crisp it up. You can also use the juices at the bottom of the pan.
  7. At 160°, pull the bird and let it rest for 10-15 minutes on a cutting board.

2 thoughts on “Anna’s French Chicken

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