From the Chardonnay chapter of “100 Perfect Pairings: Main Dishes to Enjoy with Wines You Love” by Jill Silverman Hough (Wiley, 2011)
Chardonnay and roast chicken, in pretty much any form, is considered a classic pairing. Here, a lemon roasted inside the cavity gets squeezed over the final dish, giving it a brightness that takes the combination to new heights.
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 18 small red or white potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), or a combination
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
- One 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken
- 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence (see below)
- 1 lemon, halved
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Pour the broth into a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the potatoes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, tossing to coat the potatoes. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer in the baking pan. Set aside.
Rub the chicken all over with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle the chicken inside and out with the herbes de Provence, remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, and remaining 1 teaspoon of pepper. Place the lemon halves inside the chicken (if both won’t fit, place one in the pan with the potatoes). Tie the legs together and tuck in the wings. Set the chicken on the potatoes, breast side up. Roast for 30 minutes.
Baste the chicken with the pan juices. Continue roasting, basting about every 15 minutes, until an internal thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F and the potatoes are browned and tender, about 1 1/4 hours total cooking time. Let the chicken rest, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes before carving. (It will continue to cook, reaching an internal temperature of about 175°F.)
Carve the chicken and arrange on a platter or plates with the potatoes on the side. Squeeze the lemon from the chicken cavity over the chicken and potatoes. Drizzle with any pan juices, if you like, and serve.
NOTE Herbes de Provence is a wonderful mixture of dried herbs that might include basil, rosemary, sage, marjoram, thyme, and, sometimes, lavender. Look for it in the spice section of most major supermarkets or at specialty food stores. It’s sometimes packaged in a small clay crock. Besides using it in this recipe, you can sprinkle herbes de Provence on roasting pork and lamb and stir it into summer tomato pasta.