Not Your Grandma’s Roast Chicken
For most serious foodies, chicken has long been that “other” item on the menu — the one that you might order if it’s fried, but otherwise would never prioritize over pork or beef. But lately I’ve seen more than a few restaurants that put fowl front and center, making the humble bird their centerpiece dish. None more so than Le Coq Rico, which I first read about in The New York Times earlier this summer, and simply had to have their gloriously golden roast chicken, 100-degree weather be damned.
The restaurant was kind enough to share Chef Antoine Westermann’s recipe for the perfect roast bird, a deceptively simple dish where butter and olive oil rubbed all over — and inside — the chicken make a world of difference.
Roast Chicken, Westermann Style
1 chicken, about 2 kg
20 g butter
20 g olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
Put half of the butter, salt, and pepper, inside the chicken. Cut the other half of the butter into chunks and rub them onto the skin of the chicken, then brush olive oil onto the skin and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Put the chicken on an oven dish, one leg down. Put the dish into the oven, pre-heated to 200°C, and let it cook for 20 minutes. Then turn the chicken onto its other leg, and cook for another 20 minutes. Finally rest the chicken on its traditional base and let it roast for 30 minutes, sprinkling it regularly with its cooking juices.
Take the chicken out of the oven and wrap it in aluminum foil. Remove half of the grease from the dish and return it for the last time to the oven, at 180°C, and brown the drippings, without letting them blacken. Add 10 cl of water to the browned drippings, scrape the dish to get the bits off the bottom, and leave that in the oven while cutting the chicken. To finish, mix the cooking juice and the drippings, and put the cut chicken in the dish.
Cooking time: 01:10