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Recipes

Asha's Favorite Roast Chicken

Recipe by: Asha Loupy

Serves 4 to 6

Asha's Favorite Roast Chicken
Photo by:  

Melati Citrawireja

As y'all may be able to deduce, cooking is my love language — and, if I love you, I will make you a roast chicken. After decades of roasting chickens, I thought I'd reached the perfect bird; that was until I met our Hariyali Fennel. Blended into the most fragrant, savory blend with Aranya black pepper, smoky Sirārakhong Hāthei chillies, granulated garlic, salt, and a little MSG, it makes the dreamiest seasoning for chicken (among other things!). The mix has some salt in it, but I like to bump the salt up a little if I am using it to dry brine any protein, adding about ½ teaspoon of Diamond Crystal — or ¼ teaspoon Morton's or Jacobsen's kosher salt or fine sea salt — per 1 tablespoon of spice blend.

Spatchcocking the chicken helps every inch of skin become GBD (golden brown delicious), plus reduces the cooking time. The most important part to achieving a juicy, succulent end result is letting the chicken rest for a good 15 minutes. If you can wait 25 to 30 minutes, that is even better. Don't worry, because of the size of the chicken, it will retain heat and still be good and hot when you serve it!

If you're feeling extra, do this while the chicken is resting: Toss a few generous handfuls of big, chunky torn pieces of crusty bread into the chicken drippings, toss to coat, season with a little salt and roast until golden and crunchy, about 8 to 10 minutes. Serve the croutons alongside the chicken or toss them with hearty chicories, any leftover chicken drippings, and a good squeeze or two of lemon juice.

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Ingredients

  • One 3½ to 4½ pound whole chicken
  • ¼ cup All-Purpose Fennel Seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal or 1 teaspoon Morton's or Jacobsen's kosher salt, or 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into four pats
  • 1 lemon, halved

Methods

  1. To spatchcock the chicken, place the bird breast side-down with the neck facing you on a large cutting board. Using kitchen shears, cut down one side of the spine, separating it from the ribs. Then, cut down the other side of the spine, removing it, and saving it for stock or another use. Flip the chicken breast side up and gently press down with your palm on the top of the breast until you hear a snap and the chicken flattens slightly.
  2. Stir together the seasoning mix and the salt and sprinkle it liberally on both sides of the chicken. Transfer the chicken to a large bowl or freezer zip-top bag, cover or seal, and refrigerate for 6 hours to overnight.
  3. Before cooking the chicken, remove it from the refrigerator and place it on a rimmed baking sheet (we love a quarter sheet pan here) breast side-up with the legs pointed towards the sides of the pan. Using your fingers, gently slide them between the skin and the breast meat, then slip two pats of butter under the skin of each breast. Then, let the chicken come to room temperature, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  4. While the chicken is coming to room temperature, preheat the oven to 450°F.
  5. Roast the chicken with the legs pointing towards the back of the oven for 20 minutes. Remove and gently baste the top of the bird and nestle the lemon cut side down on the pan. Return to the oven and roast, basting every 10 minutes, until the internal temperature of the breasts reaches 155°F and the thighs reach at least 170°F. The chicken legs are pretty forgiving, so don't worry if they get higher in temperature, and the chicken breasts will reach 165°F when resting post-roast.
  6. Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes, up to 30 minutes. Carve and transfer to a serving platter, spooning the drippings over the chicken, or return the chicken pieces to the baking sheet and serve straight from the pan.

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