The Ultimate Roast Chicken Provencal

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Tyler's Roast Chicken

I love a challenge. Self-imposed or laid on me by someone else. I don’t care. Judging from the myriad of book challenges and food events, I am not the only one who likes a few guidelines on their day to day living. My latest challenge..roast a chicken every week. I’ve been enamored with this idea ever since I read a Jeffrey Steingarten book where he mentions that he does this. It sounds like a great idea..perfect my skill at roasting a chicken, get lots of chicken carcasses for stock, and amass a wealth of recipes using cooked chicken. So, let the roasting begin, or at least until I grow tired of it and move onto a new a better challenge.

I began with Tyler. Kill two birds with one stone so to speak. Get my new Tyler Florence recipe in for the week, and roast a chicken.

This was excellent. The herb paste was very flavorful. I considered separating the breast skin and smooshing it under there, but I decided to follow the recipe as written. The chicken wasn’t quite as crispy as I would have liked, but there were a lot of vegetables, creating lots of steam. But I’m not going to find fault with those vegetables, because they were amazing. The next day, I diced them up tossed them with some hot pasta and some Parmesan cheese for a light dinner. They had tons of flavor from the chicken juices and the herbs and lemon. That still left with me a couple of cups of shredded cooked chicken and a lovely carcass to use later!


The Ultimate Roast Chicken Provencal
from Tyler’s Ultimate: Brilliant Simple Food to Make Any Time

Serves 4

Herb paste

leaves from 1 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
leaves from 1/4 bunch of fresh thyme
leaves from 1 bunch of fresh tarragon
4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

1 whole (3 1/2 pound) chicken
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 lemon, cut in half, plus 1/2 lemon sliced paper-thin
3 big tomatoes, cut into wedges
4 small zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds
1 red onion, thinly sliced
leaves from 4 fresh thyme sprigs
extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400.

Throw the ingredients for the herb paste into a blender and puree into a green paste.

Rinse the chicken with cool water inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Set the chicken on a cutting board, and season the cavity generously with salt and pepper. Stuff the lemon halves into the cavity. Fold the wing tips under the bird and tie the legs together with kitchen string to give it a nice shape while it cooks (I didn’t). Rub the chicken all over the herb paste so it’s well coated.

Put the chicken in a large roasting pan fitted with a rack and scatter the tomatoes, zucchini, onion, lemon slices, and thyme around. Give the vegetables a big, healthy dose of olive oil – 1/4 cup should do it – and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the chicken into the oven and roast for 1 hour; then check on it with an instant-read thermometer by popping it into the thickest part of the thigh. When it reads 160 the bird is cooked.

Take the pan out of the oven and let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before carving so the juices have a chance to settle back into the meat. Serve with the roasted vegetables.

This will be my entry for this week’s Tyler Florence Fridays. What’s yours?

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  1. says

    Now you have me thinking about roasting a chicken every week. The possibilities are endless. I love the combination of the herbs and veggies plus all of the added benefits of stock, veggie pasta dishes…amazing!

  2. says

    That is a great goal to have. I find myself always making or breaking down a chicken just so I have bones for stock.

    Plus roasting a chicken can be one of the most frustrating things ever. Trying to time the breast getting done with the thighs aurgh!!!

    Replace the oil with butter and you would have an awesome compound butter that I love to rub under the skin.

  3. says

    That is so cool! If I were cooking for more people, I would totally set myself a challenge like that. The chicken provencal looks great and the pasta is such a great way to use the leftovers.

  4. says

    I roast a chicken every week, too. OK, well I roast 2 at a time when everyone’s home, but how else do you feed such a horde? And I love having carcasses in my freezer for when soup urges hit!

  5. Pam says

    Katherine – c’mon join the bandwagon.

    Jeff – I hope by the end of this, I am an expert!

    Shirley – I plan on trying lots of them!

    Joanne – even if you’re cooking for one, think of the leftovers.

    Marjie – I like the idea of roasting 2. More leftovers.

    Shabby – thanks, it was!

    Kathy – well, it was free range, so it wasn’t cheaper, it was about the same price, but better quality.

    Noble – thank you!

  6. says

    Oh boy, I’m going to follow you closely on this one. Can you believe that I’ve never used a carcase for stock? I’ve only used a whole chicken or parts. I’ve so much to learn. I’ve also been meaning to try tarragon again. This recipe sounds terrific, especially how you turned it into a pasta dish. YUM!

  7. says

    steingarten’s a terrific author, isn’t he! i have no doubt you can rise to this challenge and i look forward to seeing your beautiful and delicious dishes each week. :)

  8. says

    I admire your ambition – I certainly have enough roast chicken recipes bookmarked to keep me busy for a long time, but not the discipline to cook one weekly. Can’t wait to read about yours, though! Good job killing the Tyler bird with that stone. The recipe looks good, and those versatile veggies are to die for.

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