This roast chicken is one of those dishes that can be served year-round. In summertime, it makes the perfect main course for a savory French-themed picnic; in winter, dish it up with roasted potatoes to chase off chills. Either way, it’s incredibly easy.
3 1/2 lbs bone-in chicken, mixed breasts and thighs
salt and pepper
12 sprigs fresh thyme
12 sprigs fresh tarragon
2 lemons, thinly sliced
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic, pressed, skins discarded
Heat oven to 400°. Place chicken in large baking dish, fitting them together snugly. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil, using pastry brush to coat all the nooks and crannies. Spread thyme sprigs on chicken. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil. Sprinkle garlic around chicken and place lemon slices on top of each piece, overlapping to use all. Lay tarragon on top. Roast until juices are clear and meat is crispy and browned, about 50 minutes, basting once halfway through cooking time.
If taking to a picnic, let cool before removing to a portable dish. Spoon any collected drippings over chicken before serving. Make sure you serve the roasted herbs and lemon along with the meat. Roasting intensifies the flavors and makes great nibbling. I call it lemon candy.
Serve with Pesto Potato Salad, Insalata Caprese, and cornichons (pickled gherkin cucumbers), which you can find in the gourmet section of your grocery store.
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