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La Belle Cuisine - More Poultry Recipes

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Roast Chicken with Garlic and Lemon



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"Poultry is for the cook what canvas is for the painter."
~ Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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Menu for Bistrot Du Peintre, Art Nouveau Design, Paris, France
Menu for Bistrot du Peintre, Art Nouveau Design, Paris, France
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La Belle Cuisine


Okay, you may well be asking, "Why ANOTHER roast chicken with garlic
recipe?". And with good reason. We do have quite a number of excellent roast chicken recipes in our archives, including Laurie Colwin's Roast Chicken and
Bistro 110's Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Garlic. Do you NEED another
one? Perhaps not. But what's that got to do with it? We probably do not NEED
a bazillion cheesecake recipes, either, but a lot of us have that many.
And besides. This is not just another roast chicken recipe. Trust me. This is
roast chicken with a most scrumptious twist, indeed. I offer it with no apology
whatsoever for the possible appearance of excess. There is always room for
one more recipe, right? Especially this one!


Roast Chicken with Garlic and Lemon
Chef Gordon Hamersley

In Julia's Kitchen
with Master Chefs

by Julia Child, with Nancy Verde Barr,
1995, Alfred A. Knopf


“There’s no way that Hamersley’s Bistro could drop this very special roast
chicken from their menu; it has been there since 1987 and remains one of
he restaurant’s most-ordered items. In their early days together, Gordon
Hamersley and his then sous-chef, Jody Adams, wanted to create a special
chicken dish that could, in a way, become a Hamersley signature. For a
while they played around with the idea of a
poularde demi-deuil – ‘chicken
in half-mourning’ – where slices of black truffle are stuffed under the skin
of a fat roaster. But that proved to be vastly expensive, as well as infinitely
They finally developed a chicken marinated in lemon, garlic, and herbs
before being roasted alongside potatoes, onions, and more garlic. Here’s
the surprise ending – the chicken is carved into breast-wing and leg-thigh
portions, returned to the pan, surrounded by its cooking liquids, and set
under the broiler. The skin becomes admirably crisp under the hot broiler
while the meat remains juicy because it is submerged.
It’s a real treat of a chicken, and how generous of Chef Gordon to give
away this delicious secret!”

Two Chickens – For 4 hearty eaters, or
for 6 to 8 moderate appetites

For the marinade
1 bunch of fine fresh flat-leaf parsley
(reserve 12 to 14 leaves for garnish)
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
and roughly chopped
3 large shallots, peeled and
roughly chopped
1 tablespoon mixed dried
herbes de Provence or
Italian herb seasoning
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
1 lemon

The vegetables
1 or 2 large Spanish onions, skin on
2 or 3 baking potatoes, about 9 ounces
each, scrubbed and unpeeled
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

Other ingredients
1/2 cup rich chicken stock in a 6-cup saucepan
1 1/2 lemons
1 head of roasted and separated garlic cloves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Special equipment suggested
1 food processor fitted with steel blade
1 zester (useful but not essential)
1 shallow roasting pan with rack,
large enough for two chickens
A jelly-roll pan (for the vegetables)
A 2-quart saucepan (for the final sauce)
A baking/serving dish that can go from
oven to table (optional)

Preparing the Marinade:  Wash the parsley and pat very dry. Chop it coarsely and drop into the bowl of the processor. Add the garlic, shallots, herbs, rosemary, and mustard. Process until the ingredients are finely chopped, then, with the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil and run
until the mixture is fluid. Transfer to a bowl and stir in a big pinch of salt
and several grinds of pepper. Use the zesting tool or a vegetable peeler
and knife to remove long strips of the lemon peel. Stir the zest into the marinade and taste very carefully for seasoning.
Marinating the Chicken:
  Season the insides of the chickens with salt
and pepper and set them on the rack in the roasting pan. Rub all over
with the marinade, using either a rubber spatula or your hands [your
hands!] Cover closely with plastic wrap, and let them marinate for
about 1 hour at room temperature, or 4 to 6 hours in the refrigerator.
(Note: Although you may be tempted to let the chickens marinate
longer, beware – the flavors can become too strong.)
  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. The vegetables and chickens will share the oven, and roast together in separate pans. The chickens go in first, since they take longer to cook.
Roasting the Chickens:
  Set the chickens on the rack in the roasting
pan, and place in the preheated oven. Roast for about 1 hour to 1 hour
and 20 minutes, basting with the marinade and/or pan juices occasionally,
until the leg bone separates easily when twisted, or a thermometer in the
thigh registers 165 to 170 degrees F. Remove from the oven and let the
chickens rest at least 20 minutes to 1/2 hour before cutting themm
for broiling.
Roasting the Vegetables:
  Meanwhile, place the empty jelly-roll pan in
the oven to heat. Shave away the root end of the onion, leaving the core
root intact but trimming off the dark, rooty exterior, then cut the onion
into quarters through the root. Cut the potatoes into quarters the long
way. When the jelly-roll pan is hot, and while it is still in the oven, pour
in the oil. Swiftly and carefully arrange the potatoes and onions cut sides
down, on the pan, season with salt and pepper, and roast for about an
hour. The vegetables are done when they are tender and very brown. Iff
the onions become tender before the potatoes, remove the onions from
the pan and set aside. When the potatoes are tender, remove the pan
from the oven and return the onions to the pan minus their dry outer
skins. Set aside at room temperature; they will be reheated before
Preparing for the Second Cooking:
  Preheat the broiler and set one
oven rack on top and one on the bottom. Transfer the chickens to a
cutting board and remove the rack from the roasting pan. Degrease the
pan juices and pour them into the chicken stock. Deglaze the pan by
pouring in a little of the stock, set over heat, scrape up the caramel-
ized bits, and pour back into the stock. Carve around each leg bone
to remove the leg and thigh in one piece. Leaving as much skin on
each chicken as possible, remove the breast and wing in one piece,
cutting and pulling – it should release easily. Arrange the chicken
pieces, skin side up, either back in the same roasting pan without
the rack, or in a baking/serving dish. Cut the whole lemon into 1/4-
inch slices and scatter over the chicken. Ladle the pan juices into
the pan but not over the birds, and distribute the roasted unpeeled
garlic cloves around.
Ahead-of-Time Note:
  The dish may be prepared to this point an hour
in advance of serving. Preheat the broiler to high before continuing.
Broiling the Chicken and Reheating the Vegetables:
  Set the pan so
the surface of the chicken is about 3 inches under the heating element,
and, watching carefully, broil 6 to 8 minutes, until the skin is crisp and
the meat has thoroughly heated through. If necessary, rotate the chicken pieces so they crisp evenly. While the chicken is broiling on the top
rack, place the vegetables on the bottom rack and leave just until they
are reheated.
Making the Sauce:
  When the chicken is ready, carefully pour the juices from the roasting pan into a saucepan with the chicken stock, and turn the heat to high. Squeeze in the juice of the half lemon, bring to a boil and
reduce by about half. The sauce should be slightly thickened and lemony
in taste. Remove from heat and whisk in the tablespoon of butter. Taste
for seasoning.
  Arrange the potatoes and onions on a serving platter or on
individual plates. At Hamersley’s they serve each guest a whole leg-thigh
and a whole breast-wing portion; you may want to cut the chicken into smaller portions. In any case, arrange the chicken on top of the vegetables, scatter on the lemon slices and garlic cloves, and pour the sauce around,
not on, the chicken. Garnish with the reserved parsley leaves, and serve.

Featured Archive Recipe:
Herb-Roasted Chicken (Alain Ducasse)
Chicken with Roasted Lemon and
Rosemary Sauce (Tra Vigne)

Lemon and Basil Poached Chicken Breasts with
Smoked Mozzarella and Tomato Salad


A Tribute to Julia Child
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