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Learn this roast chicken recipe and you will never need another.
Everywhere in Paris, the alluring aroma of chickens roasting on outdoor rotisseries is in the air, driving customers into boucheries and outdoor market stalls. Potatoes are placed on the bottom of the rotisserie, where they slowly roast, absorbing the juices.
This roast chicken recipe recreates that Paris experience in your home using a roasting pan with a rack. The rack keeps the chicken off the bottom of the roasting pan so it isn't sitting in the fat.
This roast chicken recipe yields a juicy bird with wonderfully crispy skin, and the roasted vegetables are a bonus. This meal will transport you to a Paris bistro!
Most of the easy French recipes found here at Paris Insiders Guide come from our award-winning book – How to Cook Bouillabaisse in 37 Easy Steps: Culinary Adventures in Paris and Provence. To get all 49 recipes, plus read the tales of our culinary adventures in France, simply order the 300-page book. It's only $19.95 and shipping is free (US, CA, Europe).
5 pound roasting chicken
5 large yellow-skinned potatoes, we prefer Yukon Gold
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Herbes de Provence
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 large yellow onion
8 cloves garlic, whole unpeeled
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Wash the chicken and pat dry with towels. Using a mortar and pestle, grind together the salt and Herbes de Provence. Rub about a third of the salt mixture inside of chicken. Then rub the olive oil all over the outside of the chicken, then rub on the remaining salt mixture. Make sure you use all the olive oil.
Put the poultry rack in the roasting pan and then place the chicken in the rack, breast side up with wings folded under. It's important to use a V-shaped rack to keep the chicken off the bottom so it stays crispy, and to let the juices drip down onto the vegetables.
Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the chicken. That's it, the chicken's ready! Put it in the oven and set the timer for 45 minutes.
Once the chicken is cooking prepare the vegetables. Peel the potatoes and cut them into into chunks, roughly eight pieces. Wash in cold water and drain.
Now prepare the onions. You want them to stay in chunks and avoid breaking up into small pieces, at least as best you can. Cut the tops and bottoms off the onions, remove the outer skin, and cut them into radial chunks. Toss the potatoes and onions together in a little olive oil. Set aside.
Prepare the garlic cloves by slicing off the root end (the blunt end), don't remove the skin. Toss in a little olive oil and set aside.
When the chicken has roasted for 45 minutes, add the potatoes and onions to the bottom of the pan. Tip up the roasting rack to drain some of the juices from the bird's cavity into the pan (it's what makes the roasted vegetables crispy and delicious). Reduce the heat to 400°. Set the timer for 15 minutes and, at that time, add the garlic and capers to the pan. Set the timer for 30 minutes.
Check for doneness at total roasting time of 1 hour and 30 minutes. The chicken is done when it reaches 180° in the thickest part of the thigh. Return the chicken to the oven if necessary and check again every 15 minutes.
Carve the chicken and put the pieces on a platter with the roasted vegetables arranged around it, Spoon remaining pan juices over the vegetables.
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