Garlic Roasted Chicken with Herb Sauce

Is there anything more comforting than a roast chicken on a cool autumn night? This chicken is the ultimate in garlicky herby goodness, and using the best quality chicken you can get is important. It should be free range, antibiotic free, and vegetarian fed. As great as the garlic-crusted chicken is, the herb sauce is just as good. Three of the four herbs listed can be substituted for absolutely anything else, but the chives are a must. Yields 4 to 6 servings.

Garlic Roasted Chicken Ingredients:

  • 3-5 pound chicken
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • Piment d'esplette, cayenne pepper, or red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Two big, heavy, oven-safe skillets, one preferably cast iron

Herb Sauce Ingredients:

  • 10-12 stalks tarragon
  • 8-10 stalks thyme
  • Big bunch chives
  • Handful parsley
  • ¼ lemon, plus more for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F and place the smaller of the two skillets in to heat.
  2. Using a sharp pair of kitchen shears, cut the backbone from the chicken; reserve for stock. Press or finely mince the garlic.
  3. Sprinkle the chicken liberally with salt and piment d'esplette all over both sides, making sure to get into the creases and crevices for maximum coverage. Then rub the garlic all over the chicken, three quarters on the skin side, one quarter on the cut side.
  4. Heat the larger skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat and add the vegetable oil and butter. Once hot, place the chicken in cut side down and cook about 5 minutes, until deeply browned but not burnt. Flip and cook another 8 minutes on the skin side.
  5. Carefully place the skillet from the oven on top of the cut side of the chicken and press down. Place both skillets in the oven and roast for 35-45 minutes, until the thickest part of the thigh registers 160°F.
  6. Meanwhile, mince the tarragon, thyme, chives, and parsley. Set aside until the chicken is done. Cut the lemon for garnish.
  7. Once the chicken is done, carefully remove to a plate, tent with foil, and let rest at least 15 minutes. Place the skillet with the chicken fat and juices back onto the heat and bring to a boil. Add the herbs, squeeze in the lemon juice and remove from heat. Stir to mix well and let sit for a few minutes while you carve the chicken.
  8. Once the chicken has rested, carefully cut into eight pieces: thighs, drumsticks, wings, and breasts. Carve the breasts from the bone and cut in half. Arrange neatly on a wide, clean plate and drizzle the herb sauce all over. Serve with extra lemon.