Every time I would watch a cooking show or see a movie with a beautifully dressed chicken or turkey with golden brown skin, it would make me jealous. I had never been able to achieve that crispy brown exterior and juice moist interior. Well, with patience, time and several birds later, I had finally achieved fancy brown chicken perfection.
When I decided to make this chicken, I wanted to use my Herbs de Provence herb mixture. What this is, is an herb mixture typically found in Provence France. This blend contains lavender, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, basil, savory and fennel. The blend looks beautiful, is very aromatic, and I must say, sounds very impressive. If you do not have this herb blend, you can just use a combo of any of the herbs mentioned above with the other ingredients listed to season your chicken and it will come out just as tasty and beautiful looking. To this chicken, I also added fresh herbs to the inner cavity of my chicken. I had started an herb garden this early spring and I don’t think there is anything better than walking to your backyard to pick out fresh herbs to make your dish that much more flavorful and visually appealing.
Check out this simple roasted chicken recipe and I hope you will see what an easy yet stunning dish you can prepare in a matter of minutes.
Fancy Frenchy-ish Chicken
Prep time: 10-15 minutes Cook time: 2 1/2 hrs
- 1 5lb whole chicken, washed and patted dry
- 5-7 large whole garlic cloves, mashed in a pilon (a mortar)
- 1 tsp. of Herbs de Provence
- fresh herbs (rosemary, oregano and thyme), optional
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 lemon (the zest and juice)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. After taking your chicken out of the package, pull out the surprise package inside and put aside or discard. Thoroughly wash your chicken and pat it dry. Place chicken in a well-fitted roasting pan.
2. Using a micro plane, zest the entire lemon. Make sure to only get the bright yellow parts of the skin. This is where the most flavor and natural oils of the lemon are. Be sure not to get the white part of the skin. This part is quite bitter. Roll the lemon on the cutting board or counter in order to release the juices and get the most of your lemon. Cut the lemon in half and juice the lemon. Add the oil to the lemon juice and set aside.Do not discard the lemons. These will be going inside the chicken.
3. In a mortar (what I call a pilon), Throw in your peeled cloves of garlic, Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper and lemon zest and mash until you create a paste.
4. Once your paste and juice oil mixture are ready, lightly season the bird with a little of salt and pepper both the front and back. Not too much because there is salt and pepper in the herb mixture. I would also like to recommend lifting the skin where the breast meat is. Do this carefully without tearing the skin. This will create a flavor pocket to the bird where you can add some of the paste.
5. Scoop paste out of the mortar and spread throughout the bird, the inside, outside and breast pocket. Pour lemon juice and oil mixture all over the bird as well.Take your fresh herbs and lemon pieces and place inside the chicken, along with some salt and pepper. Before placing the chicken in the oven, take the wings of the chicken and tuck them back. This will look like the chicken is about to go sun bathing with her arms tucked behind what would have been her head. Place chicken in the oven and let cook for about 2-2 1/2 hours. Check on the chicken about an hour in and baste with its juices. Do this again the last hour before pulling it out. This will help keep the chicken moist. If the chicken’s skin begins to get over done, take a piece of aluminum foil and lightly place on top of the chicken to prevent burning. The time will vary depending on the size of your chicken so be sure to keep an eye if the chicken is smaller or larger in weight.
The end result:
(The picture above is the same chicken only cut up into pieces)
I hope you find this recipe not only to be delicious, but very simplistic. Sometimes the simplest meals end up being the most satisfying. I usually post tips after a recipe but with this recipe, I incorporated them within the directions.