This is a recipe I’ve posted before (last Feb.). However, I am blessed with considerably more followers now, and this is such a good way (and easy) to cook a chicken. And I seasoned the chicken differently this time. Surprise, surprise, I didn’t brine the chicken. You know what? It was fine. I think the use of a free-range organic bird contributed to the excellent outcome.
3 ½ - 4 lb. free-range chicken, backbone and wing tips removed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 or 2 tsp dried tarragon (optional)
To remove the backbone, simply cut along it with a heavy knife or a pair of poultry shears. You have to do a little finagling when you get to the neck area, but there’s a path through there. Just be patient and be careful. Throw the back into the freezer and save for stock later.
If using tarragon (or another herb), loosen the skin from the breast and leg area and sprinkle a small amount directly on the meat. It doesn’t take much.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the middle position.
Heat the butter and oil over medium heat (4 on my 1-10 dial) in a heavy-bottomed skillet that is large enough for the bird to fit. Sprinkle the chicken all over with a salt and ground pepper to taste, and paprika if you wish.
Put the bird into the pan skin side down. Cover with a piece of foil and weight it. I use my teakettle with some water in it. Brown the chicken for about 8 minutes. Check after 5 to be sure it’s not over-browning.
Turn the chicken skin side up. Sprinkle with some more tarragon and place the skillet in the oven uncovered. Roast until the internal temp reaches 165 degrees in the thickest part of the breast (at the neck end). Check the thigh for the same temp. The roasting should take about 20-25 minutes, although I didn’t watch the clock real closely, just my temp probe.
Let the chicken rest on the countertop (not in the pan) for 10 minutes before serving.
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