Monday, April 18, 2011

A Simple and Delicious Roasted Chicken

There are some great recipes out there for roasted chicken.  We've enjoyed many of them.  When I am in a hurry to get a simple dinner on the table, this is the recipe I most often turn to.  I first had this served to me by the wife of one of the most respected chefs in Charleston, S.C..  Robert, larger than life with snow white hair and beard, was the chef-owner of Robert's of Charleston (opened in 1976, the restaurant closed in 2010).  He was also an accomplished baritone singer.  He would bring out each course, show it to the diners and, as they were served by waiters, he would stroll through the dining room singing.  His restaurant was so popular that one paid when they made their non-refundable reservations.  Having very young children made us baby-sitter dependent.  Too often, we were cancelled out at the last minute for a better gig (date?).  We never had the courage to make those expensive reservations.  

Fortunately, our younger son took Suzuki piano at the College of Charleston with Robert's daughter.  I think little Polly had a crush on Stefan.  She asked him over frequently for a swim and lunch.  Since they were only five, I felt obligated to go along.  On a number of occasions, we had restaurant leftovers for lunch.  One visit, there was asparagus soup warming on the stove.   As he left for the restaurant, Robert put a chicken into the oven with instructions on when to take it out.  I was surprised when he said 45 minutes should do.  It was delicious!  Perfect!  The asparagus soup was like velvet.  He didn't offer me the recipe.  I did the chicken a number of times and then forgot about it until I saw a similar recipe in one of Sara Moulton's cookbooks.  

Here, revived is that deliciously easy roasted chicken.

A Simple Roasted Chicken inspired by Sara Moulton and Robert (of Charleston)

One 3 1/2 pound chicken (if using a larger chicken, the roasting time will need to be adjusted)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 Tbsp of Italian or Greek seasoning (or neither!!)
Olive oil for brushing over the chicken

1.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Place rack in the middle.
2.  Wash and dry the chicken and leave at room temperature 15 minutes.
3.  Salt and pepper the chicken inside and out.  Sprinkle inside and out with the seasoning if using.
4.  Brush with olive oil and place in a heavy roasting pan, breast side up.
5.  Roast for 45 minutes until an internal temperature of 165 to 170 degrees.
6.  Transfer to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil and allow to stand for 15 minutes before carving.