Usually I can control myself when perusing the many farmer’s markets I frequent. Not this time. On a recent expedition to the most famous of NYC’s green-markets, Union Square, I threw my hands up and declared defiance to the money gods. I bought peaches. I bought berries. I bought goat cheese. People, I bought a WHOLE CHICKEN.
This may not seem particularly crazy, but considering I’ve been subsisting on beef bones, fish heads, and turkey necks for quite some time now, it made me feel rebellious and giddy and like I was doing something naughty. Once I got my gorgeous little chicken home, however, I was paralyzed with the kitchen equivalent of stage fright.
I mean, this thing cost me quite a bundle! How should I cook it? What was the proper way to revere and transform this luxury purchase? What if I messed it up, what if my gluttony went to waste? I fretted and wrung my hands and stared at the thing for a good long while. Then I came to my senses and realized I would be reasonable. Roast Chicken is one of the easiest (yet somehow feared) dishes in the culinary kingdom. It requires very little prep for an absolutely mouthwatering outcome. As my logical, engineer father would say, “maximum output for minimum input”.
It’s also just really good. Moist, succulent meat covered in a crispy skin perched over toasty potatoes that have soaked up all the stray cooking juices…forget the pearly gates, THIS is heaven. The trick (I have found) to a moist and perfectly cooked chicken is
a) a short cooking time at high heat, and
b) leaving the chicken, covered, for at LEAST fifteen minutes before serving. Not ten, not five. Impatience is unbecoming. And will ruin a perfectly good chicken. Sit on your hands, for all I care. But leave that chicken ALONE. All will be right in the world if you do, I promise.
Rosemary Roast Chicken over New Potatoes
- 2 lb chicken
- 2 tsp rosemary
- salt and pepper
- 1 lb new potatoes (or any potato that you fancy)
- 1 tbsp fat (I used lard)
- 1 medium onion
1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Roughly chop your onion into chunks and dice your potatoes into big chunky pieces (about 1 inch x 1 inch).
2. Pat the chicken dry and generously rub with 1 tsp dried rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.
3. In a bowl toss the potatoes and onions in your cooking fat, 1 tsp dried rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste (be generous!).
4. Put your potatoes in the bottom of a cast iron skillet, and follow with the chicken. Roast in the oven for thirty five minutes, uncovered. Remove and cover with tinfoil, allow to sit for fifteen minutes.
5. Carve and serve. And be merry.