Roast Chicken Recipe – Recreate Parisian Markets In Your Kitchen

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. The result is a juicy bird with wonderfully crispy skin — the roasted vegetables are a bonus. We tell you, learn this roast chicken recipe and you will never need another one.


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Parisian Roast Chicken Recipe

A Parisian market

  • 5-pound (2.2kg) roasting chicken
  • 5 large yellow-skinned potatoes
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Herbes de Provence
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 8 cloves garlic, whole unpeeled

Preheat oven to 450°F. (230°C.)

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, but leave the root end intact (without the root, of course). 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. We find that 2 hours is just about the correct overall cooking time.

Carve the chicken and put the pieces on a platter with the roasted vegetables arranged around it, Spoon remaining pan juices over the vegetables.


The BBQ Rotisserie Version

At home we usually cook this chicken on the barbecue rotisserie. But, because many people don't have a rotisserie, in this recipe we decided to share our oven-roasted version, above. If you do have a BBR rotisserie, use the rear burner only, at full heat, and let the bird cook and spin for two hours.

While the bird turns, and about an hour into the roasting, toss the vegetables in olive oil (and a bit of duck fat if you have it) and cook in a 400° oven, stirring occasionally. We also make sure to catch the chicken drippings on the BBQ and add that to the vegetables as they cook.

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