Roast Chicken with Rosemary Garlic Paste
Hola mi amigos! Its certainly been a little while since I’ve updated, but I had a good excuse I promise! I just returned from a week-long vacation in Mexico with my step sister, Ashley, so between wrapping things up at work and getting ready for the trip, I hadn’t had much time to cook/blog for a few weeks now. The trip, by the way, was spectacular! We stayed at the Hotel Catalonia in Riviera Maya, which is an all-inclusive resort and we both would highly recommend it. Everything- the staff, accommodations, excursions, and even the food, was above and beyond our expectations for a resort of that size.
So anyway now its back to reality, which also means back to cooking my own meals! For my first meal back I wanted something healthy (since I’d definitely been on a “dessert every day” kick for the past week!), easy, and also something that would leave me with leftovers to get me through the week. A roasted chicken seemed like the way to go! I absolutely love making whole chickens because the meat is so much juicer than chicken cutlets and you’re left with all the bones to make a big pot of chicken soup later on!
I found this Bon Appétit recipe on Epicurious and it seemed perfectly simple (which really also means I didn’t have to purchase many ingredients). The only change I made was that I didn’t include the juniper berries since (surprise surprise) my local Acme Market didn’t have any. The end result was still juicy and delicious! I served my chicken with some roasted sweet potatoes and asparagus and a spoonful or two of the pan drippings. Simple and fantastic.
- 1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped, plus 3 whole fresh rosemary sprigs
- 5 juniper berries (okay if omitted)
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or coarse kosher salt
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 5- to 6-pound whole chicken, (save the neck and giblets to make homemade chicken stock!)
Combine chopped rosemary and next 4 ingredients in mortar and crush with pestle or blend in mini processor until coarse paste forms. Mix in oil. Rinse chicken; pat dry and cut out the backbone using kitchen shears. Rub 1 teaspoon herb mixture over bone side of chicken. Turn chicken over and open like book; place chicken, skin side up, on work surface. Loosen skin from breast and thigh meat; rub remaining herb mixture over meat under skin. Rub any remaining herb mixture on outside of chicken.
Place rosemary sprigs in 13x9x2-inch ceramic or glass baking dish. Place chicken, skin side up, atop rosemary sprigs in dish. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before roasting.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Roast chicken uncovered until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 170°F, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer chicken to platter and serve.