Roast Chicken is a favorite of mine. And while a simple chicken, roasted off with nothing more than salt and pepper, is absolutely wonderful, there are fortunately hundreds of ways to make roast chicken is other interesting and exciting ways.  This recipe for a Tuscan Roast Chicken, uses rosemary and lemon (which pair great together), to add some additional falvors, and then I also butterfly the chicken so that it cooks faster, and has more contact with the grill or pan, so you get more great caramelization on the outside.  Served up with some potatoes and asparagus, I’m loving life and I hope you love this roast chicken.

Recipe Overview and Keys to Success

For the best Tuscan Roast Chicken, just make sure you do the following:

  1. Cook the chicken on high heat.  That way you’ll get good browning on the outside, and it won’t take more than an hour to cook
  2. If you can, brine the chicken for 5 – 8 hours before you cook it
  3. Make sure the chicken is room temperature when you start cooking it. So take it out of the fridge, unwrap it to allow it to air dry, about 40 minutes before you want to cook it
  4. Don’t over cook the chicken.  Use a meat thermometer and bring the thickest part of the chicken up to 155 – 160 then pull it out of the oven
  5. Once cooked, allow the chicken to rest for 5 - 10 minutes so the juices settle; otherwise once you cut into it, the juice runs out and the meat will be more dry

Ingredients (for 2)

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 7 – 8 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 lemons quartered
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Tuscan Roast Chicken (for 2 - 3)

  • Lay the chicken breast side down on a cutting board
  • Using a large chef’s knife cut down through the rib cage, just left or right of the back bone, using increase pressure until the bones give way
  • Once through one side of the back bone, repeat the process on the other side
  • Use a kitchen shears, or a smaller knife to remove any remaining bits of bone
  • Allow the chicken to come up to room temperature, skin slide up, so that it dries a bit
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  • Season both sides of the chicken liberally with salt and pepper
  • Heat a roast pan, or you can use a grill, over medium high heat, and then coat the bottom with olive oil
  • Lay the chicken skin side down in the pan and cook on the stove top for about 10 minutes, or until the skin is browned
  • Gently turn the chicken over, so it’s skin side up, and add all but one rosemary sprig and one quarter of lemon to the pan
  • Move the roasting pan into the pre-heated oven and allow it to cook until the chicken reached an internal temp of ~160; about 45 minutes
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and move to a cutting board to rest
  • Add the white wine and deglaze the pan.  Reduce by ½
  • Remove the cooked rosemary and lemon, and add the chicken stock and reduce again by half
  • Taste the sauce, if desired, add back in some of the fresh rosemary, lemon, salt or pepper
  • Turn off the heat, add and stir in the butter
  • Carve the roast chicken and serve with the sauce and your favorite side

Wine Recommendation

Roast chicken is a favorite of mine for wine pairing as there are so many great options.  If you’d like a red wine, go with a Gamay or Pinot, which are light enough to not overpower the chicken, and would be perfect especially if you grill the chicken.  But my personal preference would be a simple and clean California chardonnay.  It should have enough body to stand up to the sauce, and the oak compliments the beautifully browned skin. 

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