Paris is on my must-visit list – as much for the food as anything else. And what’s more French than a simply roasted chicken? Stuffed with a handful of the fresh herbs that are already starting to grow, a wedge of lemon and halved head of garlic, it couldn’t be easier on a Friday night.
Roast Chicken with Garlic, Lemon and Fresh Herbs
1 whole chicken (a roaster or fryer)
half a lemon
1 head garlic, halved crosswise (don’t bother peeling it)
a few sprigs of parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, or other fresh herbs
salt and pepper
1 lb. new potatoes (optional)
Rinse the chicken inside and out with cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Place in a baking dish or roasting pan and stuff the lemon, garlic and herbs inside its cavity. Drizzle the chicken with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and rub all over the surface with your fingers.
Preheat the oven to 450F. Roast the chicken for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down and roast for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally, until the skin is golden, the legs wiggle easily in their sockets, and the juices run clear. (If you like, add the potatoes to the pan halfway through the cooking time, rolling them around to coat with the drippings in the bottom of the pan.) Remove the herbs and discard; squeeze the lemon over the chicken and squash the roasted garlic cloves with a fork into the pan drippings. Serve the drippings over the roast chicken.