Recipes from the Farmers’ Market: Roasted Chicken and New Potatoes

Roasted chicken is one of those things that I always manage to forget my love for.  I mean, I know I love it, but I tend to forget the whole EXPERIENCE of roasted chicken until I have one cooking away in the oven, crackling and making the house smell like herbs and garlic and chicken and home.  I LOVE it, ok?  And potatoes . . . well, words cannot describe my love for the potato in all its forms.  (I actually don’t keep many in the house because I will make myself SICK on mashed potatotes.  For real: I’ll eat them 3 meals a day if given the opportunity.)

So, I decided to roast that 1/2 chicken and the little potatoes I’d bought at the Market a couple of weeks ago.  (The chicken has been in the freezer, don’t worry.)  And I had some fresh herbs in pots outside, so I raided those.  But if you don’t have fresh herbs, don’t worry: dried will work fine.  🙂

1/2 roast chicken, about 2 pounds (or 1 whole chicken, butterflied – see below – in which case, double the rest of the ingredients.)
small potatoes, about 1 pound
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
salt to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
Rosemary: either 1/3 cup fresh or 2 Tbs dried
Sage: either 1/3 cup fresh or 2 Tbs dried, crushed OR 1 Tbs dried, ground

The Recipe:
Preheat the oven to 325F (for pastured chicken) or 350 (for “regular” chicken).  If you’re butterflying a chicken, here’s how:  place the chicken breast side down on the cutting board.  Using some REALLY sharp kitchen shears (poultry shears are even better), cut out the backbone.  Turn the chicken breast side up, and spread it as wide as you can.  Place your hand right between the breasts and press down until you hear the sternum crack.  (I know, I know, it’s gross.  But worth it!  This will let you lay the chicken flat in a large pan, and will cut down the cooking time by at least half.)  That’s it – it’s butterflied!

Put all the butter in a cup and stick in the microwave just long enough to soften, but not melt, it.  (It took about 12 seconds for me.)  Mash the garlic and herbs into the butter. 

Lay the chicken in the pan, and using your fingers, peel away as much of the skin as you can: don’t remove it completely, just make a pocket.  Stuff about half the butter-herb mixture under the skin of the chicken, as deep and in as many places as you can (the thighs can be kind of tough, and I just forget about the wings). 

Clean the potatoes and scatter them around the chicken.  Put the remaining butter mixture back in the microwave and melt it.  Pour it over the potatoes, and stir them as best you can, so they’re all coated.

Cook the chicken as follows:
For pastured chicken (which cooks quicker), cook at 325F for about 40 minutes, then turn the heat up to 350 and cook another 10-15 minutes (for crispy skin).
For “regular” chicken, cook at 350F for about 45 minutes, then turn the heat up to 375 and cook another 15-20 minutes. 

That’s it!  I try to let it cool before I inhale it, but I have to admit that the skin is AMAZING while it’s still hot enough to scorch your mouth.  😉 

This won’t need anything fancy to serve with it: just a green salad and maybe some toast or a roll.  (And of course, you’ll have the amazing leftovers for sandwiches or shredded chicken salad later!!) 


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