Anne Burrell's Herb-Roasted Chicken
- 5 sprigs rosemary, needles removed and finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
- 10 sage leaves, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Kosher salt
- Two whole chickens, (3- to 3 ½-pound)
- 1 large or 2 small onions, cut into ½-inch dice
- 1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
- 3 ribs celery, cut into ½-inch dice
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 bundle thyme, about 10 sprigs tied together with string
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 ½ cups dry white wine
Preheat oven to 450˚F.
In a small bowl, combine rosemary, sage, garlic, red pepper flakes and olive oil. Season generously with salt. Using your fingertips, carefully work your way under the skin of the chickens to separate the skin from the breast to form a pocket. Smear the herb paste under the skin of both chickens. Use all of the paste and try to distribute evenly between both. Drizzle each chicken with more olive oil and massage the skin all over to coat with oil. Sprinkle each chicken generously with salt. Truss each chicken.
Place the diced veggies, bay leaves and thyme in a roasting pan large enough to accommodate the 2 chickens without touching; a 9-by-13-inch roasting pan should work. Add 2 cups chicken stock and season generously with salt. Arrange chickens on top of the veggies in the roasting pan and place in the preheated oven.
Check the chickens about 15 minutes into the cooking process, the skin should be starting to turn brown. Lower the heat to 375˚F and continue roasting. After another 15 minutes, remove the chickens from the oven and turn over. Check the level of liquid in the roasting pan: If most of the liquid has evaporated, add another cup of stock and return the chickens to the oven. When the chickens have browned on the bottom, about 15 minutes, remove from the oven and turn them back over. Return the chickens to the oven for the final 15 minutes of cooking. The skin on the chickens should be very brown and crisp. Remove chickens from the oven and use an instant-read thermometer inserted in the crease between the thigh and breast, being careful to not touch the bone. The thermometer should read between 160˚F and 170˚F. If needed, return chickens to the oven for an additional 10 minutes and then check the temperature again.
When chickens are done, remove from the roasting pan and place on a warm platter and cover loosely with foil. Let sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
After removing chickens from the roasting pan, skim off excess fat from the surface of the liquid. (The easiest way to do this is to prop up one end of the pan, letting the fat run to the other end of the pan.)
Put the roasting pan on a burner over medium heat, add the wine, and reduce by half. Add the remaining chicken stock and season to taste. For a smooth sauce, strain, or leave as is for a chunkier sauce. When the sauce has reached the desired consistency and flavor, remove from the heat and pour into desired serving vessel.
To carve the chickens: Cut off the twine. Pull the thigh and leg away from the breast of the chicken until the thigh bone "pops" out of the socket. (This is also a sign that the chicken is cooked properly.) Separate the thigh and drumstick. Remove the breast from the carcass by feeling for the ridge of the breastbone in the center of the chicken and slicing around the rib cage. Arrange the chicken on a serving platter. or on individual plates with the mashed potatoes and gravy.