Roasted Chicken Aline

If I had to live on just one entree the rest of my life, this would be it. I love a good roasted chicken, like the one my mother (Aline) used to make every Sunday when I was a kid. After this chicken comes out of the oven, you can add almost any sauce or garnish to it you like, but it’s very good as is. Buy a free-range chicken or the smallest chicken you can find at the store.

Feel free to vary the array of fruits, vegetables, and herbs I like to stuff inside the cavity before putting the chicken into the oven.

Fresh roasted chicken with rosemary.

  • 1 whole chicken, 3 to 3 1/2 lbs.
  • Stems of 1 bunch fennel, cut up, or tops of 1 bunch celery
  • Stems of 1 bunch parsley
  • 1/2 orange, sliced
  • 1 good-sized branch rosemary
  • 10 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt
  • Creole seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. If you have a convection oven, set it to convect.

1. Rinse the chicken and remove the giblets. Stuff the cavity with as much of the fennel, celery, parsley stems, orange, rosemary, and garlic as will fit inside the cavity. Season the outside of the chicken with salt and Creole seasoning or pepper.

2. Put the chicken breast side down on a broiler pan with a rack and set it in the center of the oven. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees.

3. Roast for one hour, and check the temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer. When it reaches about 170 degrees, turn the oven up to 450 degrees, and put very small slivers of butter all over the outside of the chicken.

4. Roast another five to ten minutes. Check to make sure the juices run clear from the thigh. Remove from oven and let stand for fifteen minutes before serving.

Serves two to four.