- 1 whole chicken, if possible seasoned generously with salt the night before
- 2 onions, sliced
- 2–3 whole lemons, sliced
For the aioli
- 2 egg yolks
- 1–1.5 cup very light-flavored olive oil, or a mix of half olive and half something else neutral, like grapeseed
- 1/2–1 garlic clove, depending on how strong it is and how much you like garlic, pounded to a paste with a pinch of salt
- Splash of water
- Squeeze in lemon
For the Chicken
- Season your chicken with kosher salt and cracked black pepper, both inside and out and place in your refrigerator overnight, covered with a sheet of parchment. (Covering with parchment rather than plastic or in a closed container will allow the skin to dry out a little, which will help it to become a deep golden brown while roasting)
- The following day, bring it out of your refrigerator and let it come up to room temperature an hour or so before placing in the oven. Preheat your oven to 450F and allow to really heat up while your bird is waiting. Of course, if you’re in a great hurry to get dinner on the table, you are perfectly welcome to disregard everything I’ve just said and remove the breasts and the legs and thighs, season now instead of earlier with salt and pepper and sear in a pan, getting the skin crispy and finishing the legs and thighs in the oven (altogether much less time than roasting a whole bird).
- But back to the whole bird… Make a bed of onion wedges, garlic cloves and slices of lemon in the bottom of the roasting tray with a splash of water or white wine and a couple knobs of butter (hey, why not?). Every 20 minutes or so, brush the skin of the bird with the juices that collect in the bottom of the tray. When a thermometer inserted into the thigh of the bird reaches 160 degrees, your bird is done. This should take altogether about 45 minutes for a chicken, and maybe half that if you’re just roasting a breast on the bone. Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. If you try to carve into it before then, the juices in the meat will freak out and run away and all the beautiful roasting and basting you’ve done will have gone to waste as your chicken will be dry and sad. So, don’t do that. Give it a good rest. You’ll have a happy delicious bird.
- To serve, place those gorgeous pan vegetables from the roasting tray onto a platter. Place the carved chicken on it, pouring the juices over (removing any excess fat). Place small bowls of aioli on the side and to complete your very frenchy dinner, serve with green salad and roasted potatoes.
- A GREAT item to have in your kitchen repertoire… Anywhere you might use mayonnaise, (or never even thought to) use a little handmade aioli instead and you’ll be as addicted as I am…
- In a clean sturdy bowl, place your egg yolks and whisk together to break up completely. Then, in a thread-like stream, begin to whisk in the oil. The beginning of the process is the trickiest part, as it will want to break, so add very slowly at first and keep whisking in between pours to make sure it’s emulsifying properly. As you get going, you will see it eventually starts to thicken and become pale. Don’t get over-confident and start to add the oil faster, just keep slow and steady… If it starts to get too thick, add a little splash of water to make it smooth and creamy again. When all the oil is in, fold in your garlic and add squeeze of lemon. Taste and see if you need to add more garlic or salt or lemon. If it’s still too thick you can add more water – it should have a consistency that gently falls from a spoon.
- Not included in Large Real Food Boxes: Salt, light cooking oil