Roast tarragon chicken

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
3 pounds Chicken (roasting, broiling or frying)
2 teaspoons Dry tarragon (or dbl. amt.)
\N \N Freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons Butter; at room temperature
1 small Carrot; sliced
1 \N Celery stalk; sliced
1 small Onion; sliced
1 tablespoon Safflower oil
2 tablespoons Melted butter
1 tablespoon Minced shallots
1½ cup Chicken stock

PREHEAT OVEN TO 425F. Lightly pepper the inside of chicken and smear with butter, then sprinkle with 2 teaspoons tarragon. Truss the chicken, then dry the outside thoroughly and rub with another 1 tablespoon butter all over the skin.

TO BROWN THE CHICKEN: Set the chicken on a rack, breast side up in the roasting pan, place in the oven for 5 minutes. Turn on its left side and baste quickly with the oil and butter, return to the oven for another 5 minutes. Turn on its right side for another 5 minutes, basting as before.

TO ROAST THE CHICKEN: Leave the chicken on its right side. Reduce oven temperature to 350F. Strew the vegetables under the chicken and baste it again. Leave it for a total of 15-20 minutes, basting it at least every 10 minutes. Salt the chicken, turn it on its other side, and cook another 15-20 minutes, basting at least every 10 minutes. Turn the chicken breast up and continue basting every 10 minutes until it is done.

TO TELL IF THE CHICKEN IS DONE: Prick the thickest part of the drumstick with a fork. If the juices come out clear yellow, it is done. If not, roast another 5 minutes and test again. As a final check, lift the chicken and drain the juices from its vent into the pan; if the last few drops are clear yellow, it is definitely done.

Put the chicken on a warm platter, remove the trussing string, and let it sit at least 5-10 minutes before carving so that the juices will not retreat into the tissues. It can wait a good 30 minutes with foil over it. Remove the vegetables and all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan, leaving as much of the brown juices as you can. Stir in the minced shallot and cook 2-3 minutes. Add the stock, 2 teaspoons of tarragon and boil rapidly over high heat. As the juices boil, scrape up coagulated juices (deglaze the pan) with a wooden spoon.

Let the liquid reduce to about ½ cup. Carve the chicken at this point unless you are going to carve it at the table. Any juices may be added to the sauce. Just before serving, swirl the final 2 tablespoons of butter into the hot sauce until it has been absorbed and lightly thickened. Dribble the sauce on the chicken, sprinkle with minced parsley.


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