Rosemary Garlic And Lemon Roast Chicken

As everyone says, roast a chicken and people think you're a genius. This uses a high heat technique which produces crispy skin and very tender meat. The stuffing perfumes the meat - it's even better the next day, so roast two birds for a crowd and have enough for the best cold chicken sandwiches.

1 3.5-4 lb chicken (best quality a real plus)
1-2 tbs minced garlic (to taste)
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 lemon
coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 400. Pat the bird dry inside and out, removing any giblets you find there. Gently loosen the skin over both breasts and down the sides between the legs and thighs. Place 1/3 of the garlic under the skin of each breast, allowing some to get near the thighs. Rub the rest inside the cavity and leave there. Place a spring of rosemary under each breast skin. Rub the skin all over with the last two pieces of the herb, then rub the cavity with them and leave them inside. Sprinkle a little salt inside the cavity. Cut the lemon in two. Squeeze half on the outside of the bird and stuff that half and the unsqueezed half inside the cavity. Get half a palmful of coarse sea salt and rub this over the whole bird, not forgetting the wings, etc.

Slide bird into over and roast 40 minutes. Remove from oven, baste with juices and replace in oven, rotating it back to front or side to side as necessary. Roast another 40 minutes or so or until the legs move easily when prodded. Or, roast until the thigh reads 165 degrees.

Allow to sit, covered loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil, for no less than 20 minutes. Don't rush - it's even more lovely when it is warm and not piping hot!

(IMPORTANT! use MUCH less salt if you use kosher or table salt - really, the coarse salt is essential since it creates a crispy and flavorful skin without over salting the dish).




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