Roast Chicken with Herb Butter
Credit: Best of the Best Cookbook Recipes by Food & Wine, Original recipe from New Classic Family Dinners by Mark Peel
1 fat garlic clove, cut in half,green shoot removed
4 teaspoons roughly chopped chervil
1 tablespoon roughly chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon roughly chopped thyme leaves
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf arsley
1/2cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. In a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt until smooth. Add the chervil, tarragon, thyme, and parsley ad mash together to a paste. Add the butter and mash together until the mixture is smooth and uniform.
3. Loosen the skin from the surface of the chicken, taking care not to tear it.You can do this by sticking your first and second fingers between the skin and the meat, starting from the breast near the neck and moving them carefully over the surface of the bird. You can also do it with a teaspoon, rounded side out.
4. Season the chicken, inside the cavity and outside, with salt and pepper. Spread the butter under the skin, concentrating on the breast and down into the legs. Truss the chicken and pat the surface dry with a paper towel.
5. If using the onion (the sliced onion acts as a rack and will infuse the chicken with more flavor), toss with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, and place into the middle of a lightly oiled baking dish. Place the chicken on top, breast side up. Place in the oven. After 15 minutes,turn the heat down to 350 degrees; continue to bake for 1 hour, until a thermometer registers 160 degrees when stuck into the thickest part of the thigh. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes; remove the string before serving. Discard the onion.