Poulet Roti (Roast Chicken)

Nothing says cuisine like Julia Child… am I right?  After watching the movie Julie & Julia with Husband, I mentioned that I would love to have my own copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  Husband did not disappoint, as I found the set of Volumes 1 and 2 under the Christmas tree!  Of course, that was Christmas 2012, and this is the first time I’ve finally attempted a recipe.

The end result was spectacular, of course.  But I have never put so much labor into what I thought was a simple dish!

Substitutions: I bought a larger chicken (approximately 6 pounds) so that we would have leftovers.  Happy to report that I did not adjust the amounts of the remaining ingredients and it still turned out perfectly, as did the Chicken and Dumplings I made from the subsequent bone broth and leftover chicken.  I added some whole red potatoes to the roasting pan to go with the carrots and onions.

After so many flips and turns, it was hard to keep track of which way was up, for the bird and for me…  Be careful when turning the chicken so that the delicious skin doesn’t wind up stuck to the bottom of the roasting pan.

Is it sinful if I thought the carrots were the most amazing part?

Poulet Roti (Roast Chicken) 

1 whole chicken, 3-4 pounds
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
5 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature, divided
1 carrot, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon shallot or green onion, minced
1 cup chicken stock or broth

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 425°F. Sprinkle inside of chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and smear in 1 tablespoon butter. Dry it thoroughly with paper towels, and rub the skin with 1 tablespoon butter. Place chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan. Strew carrot and onion around it, and set it on a middle rack of the preheated oven. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil to use for basting.
Allow chicken to brown lightly for 5 minutes. Turn it on its left side, basting it with the butter and oil mixture, and allow it to brown for 5 minutes. Turn it on its right side, baste it, and allow to it to brown for 5 minutes. Reduce oven to 350°F. Leave chicken on its right side, and baste every 8 to 10 minutes, using the fat in the roasting pan when butter-and-oil mixture is empty. Halfway through estimated roasting time (when the right side of chicken is golden brown, about 40 minutes), sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt then turn it on its left side. Continue roasting and basting for another 20-30 minutes, until left side is golden brown. Then, sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and turn the chicken, breast side up. Continue basting and cook for another 10-20 minutes or until chicken has an internal temperature of 165°F. When done, cut and discard trussing strings, and allow chicken to rest on a hot platter for 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan, and discard. Then, strain the cooked vegetables and pan juices through a chinois. In a small sauce pan, combine strained pan juices and minced shallot (or green onion), and cook over low flame for 1 minute. Add stock, and boil rapidly over high heat, scraping and discarding any white foam, until liquid reduces to 1/2 cup. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off flame, and just before serving, swirl in 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter into the pan sauce. Pour a spoonful of sauce over the chicken, then ladle the remaining sauce in a gravy boat for the table.

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