Tuesday, April 19, 2011

dear ina

dear ina,
i can't tell you how much i love your roast chicken recipe. love. i've made it countless times, and it never fails me. it's pure comfort food... so simple and fresh and beautiful, and the house smells amazing every time i make it. it's everything i love about cooking. and, frankly... you make me look good.
alison rae

p.s. if you ever need an assistant call me. i'll peel carrots all day long.

perfect roast chicken {ina garten, from the barefoot contessa cookbook}

1 5-6 pound roasting chicken
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 spanish onion,thickly sliced (i use two)
*i like to add 4-5 peeled and sliced carrots to the roasting pan with the onion

1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons all purpose flour

{preheat oven to 425 degrees}
remove the chicken giblets. rinse the chicken inside and out. remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. place the chicken in a roasting pan. liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of the lemon, and all the garlic. brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. scatter onion slices around the chicken. {if roasting carrots or other vegetables, place the chicken on top of the carrots and onions for roasting.}
roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. remove to a platter and cover with aluminum foil while you prepare the gravy.
remove all fat from the bottom of the pan, reserving 2 tablespoons in a small cup. add the chicken stock to the pan and cook on high heat for about 5 minutes (a splash of white wine is great here... pour a glass for yourself too), until reduced, scraping the bottom of the pan. combine the 2 tablespoons of chicken fat with the flour and add to the pan. boil for a few minutes to cook the flour. strain the gravy into a small saucepan and season it to taste. keep it warm over a very low flame while you carve the chicken.
slice the chicken onto a platter and serve immediately with the warm gravy. {i usually serve this with just the pan juices spooned over the warm chicken, roasted onion, and roasted carrots. but, who can resist gravy?} garnish with lemon, and fresh thyme.


  1. Jake and I are trying this recipe on Sunday, Ali! Can't wait to taste it!

  2. it is seriously the best ever anne... let me know how it turns out. i usually add a little extra olive oil and salt and pepper to the onions and carrots and toss before i put the chicken on top to roast. it's also good to spoon the juices over the veggies and chicken half way through.
    are you serving anything else with it?