French roasted chicken is a little fancier, but hardly any more work than, Italian Lemon Chicken (Pollo al Limone). I’ve just amped up the herbs and added butter and garlic, to a very simple and delicious lemon chicken recipe.
I used the method that I learned in cooking school, which is to pierce a lemon all over, and stuff it inside the bird. This works, by the way, with chicken, turkey or duck. The result is absolutely the moistest meat ever. For this French roasted chicken, I’ve used Herbes de Provence to give this bird a decidedly country French accent. Ideally, I would leave the rub on the chicken, (or turkey) overnight, but even on a weeknight, this bird can be roasted in just about an hour, provided you prep it the night before.
Herbes de Provence is a blend that consists of the following dried herbs; savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano and sometimes, lavender. While you can make your own blend using dried herbs, the proportions of the blends can be tricky. Since rosemary is particularly strong, and therefore should be used more sparingly than savory or thyme, and since Herbes de Provence are readily available in most grocery stores, I prefer to buy a blend. Lift the skin of the bird and slip some of the herb butter under it, as well as between the breast and skin, if you can.Use kosher salt, rather than table salt, which is so much saltier. Make sure you understand your oven’s idiosyncrsies, and are able to gauge temperatures. The temperatures and times, therefore, are a guideline, and you should always test doneness by using a thermometer.
I hope you enjoy this French roasted chicken recipe.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
Remove giblets from chicken, pat dry. (This will enable the herb butter to stick to the bird better). Mix herbs, butter, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Slide your hand under the skin, between the breast meat to loosen, and rub herb butter all over, including some under the skin of the bird. Insert the whole lemon into the cavity of the chicken, and truss legs together with twine.
Place chicken on a wire roasting rack set inside a pan.
Roast chicken until skin turns brown, about 30-40 minutes. Baste with any herb butter in the roasting pan, and reduce heat to 350 degrees F. and continue to cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees F, about 30-35 minutes more.
Let chicken rest on platter, covered loosely with foil for 15 minutes before serving.