In our house, Sundays are often family days, and yesterday was no exception. We had the hubby’s family over for lunch during the day and had our parents over for dinner in the evening. It was an entire day of playing hostess, so pretty much an awesome day!
Still, after an afternoon of cooking and then cleaning, we wanted to make a dinner for my parents that wouldn’t disappoint but that would also be super simple. This roast chicken was exactly that!
It was one of the best, juiciest chickens I’ve ever eaten, and the pan sauce was the perfect replacement for a traditional gravy. We ate this with braised Brussels sprouts and curried carrot puree, along with some salad my parents brought with them. It was truly a great meal that was really simple and didn’t involve too much clean up.
Here’s how you can make chicken this in your kitchen:
- 1 roaster chicken (Any size you like! Our was about 5 pounds)
- 1/2 stick of butter, slightly softened
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. To cook our chicken, we butterflied it. It’s an easy way to make sure your chicken roasts really evenly, but is not necessary. This recipe would work just as well roasting the chicken whole. If you do want to butterfly your chicken, click here for some easy instructions.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, tarragon and garlic until well combined.
3. Now it’s time to spread the butter under the skin of the chicken. Carefully lift small areas of chicken skin, spreading butter under the skin as you go, until you’ve covered the entire chicken in a thin layer of butter.
4. Place the chicken on a baking rack on top of a baking pan (this helps the skin get crispier by keeping the chicken away from its own juices) and roast for about 1 hour, or until a meat thermometer reads about 180 degrees. Then cut up and serve! It’s that easy!
For the pan sauce:
- 1 tbsp olive oil, coconut oil or ghee
- 1/4 cup onion, minced
- 1.5 cups chicken broth
- 2 tsp mustard
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
- pinch of saffron (optional)*
1. In a medium saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions to the pan and store to coat in the oil. Cook the onions, stirring, until they get brown and begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
2. Add the chicken broth and mustard to the pan, stirring to combine fully. If you are using saffron, add a pinch of saffron to the broth at this time. Bring the mixture to a low boil and cook uncovered until the sauce reduces by almost half, about 5 minutes.
3. Once the sauce reduces, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the orange juice, cold butter and tarragon. Pour into a small dish for spooning over the chicken.**
*Hint: If you want to use saffron in the sauce (which I highly recommend), look for the flavorful threads in the ethnic food section of your grocery store. I found saffron that was about half the price of the kind found in the typical spice section!
**Note: the recipe does not yield much sauce, but we found it was plenty for four people to eat with the chicken. The flavor really packs a punch!