Splitting a chicken encourages even roasting and beautiful presentation. This French classic makes the most of spring herbs, fragrant fennel, tiny potatoes and shallots. Bon Appetit!
Makes: 4 servings
Free of: gluten and all top allergens.
- 2 medium bulbs fennel, ends removed, rinsed and cut into 8 wedges each
- 1 lb (450 g) baby potatoes or new potatoes (halved) or fingerling potatoes (halved lengthwise)
- 3 shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
- 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1/2 tsp salt, plus additional for chicken
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus additional for chicken
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon, divided
- 1 3 1/2-4 lb (1.6-1.8 kg) chicken
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) dry white wine
- Preheat oven to 400° F with oven rack in the center.
- In a roasting pan, combine fennel, potatoes, shallots, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1 tablespoon tarragon. Top with a roasting rack.
- Rinse and pat chicken dry. Split chicken down the backbone with a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Flip and use the palm of your hand to press down firmly on the breastbone, to flatten. Beginning at the tail end, separate, but do not remove, the skin from the breast.
- In a small bowl, combine lemon zest, 2 tablespoons tarragon, basil and thyme. Use fingers to spread and massage zest-herb mixture under chicken skin. Use toothpicks to secure the skin at the tail end, if needed.
- Place chicken cavity side up on rack over vegetables. Season liberally with salt and pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon each). Combine lemon juice with wine and pour over chicken.
- Roast chicken and vegetables for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and flip chicken using tongs. Baste chicken with pan juices then brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with more salt and pepper (about 1/8 teaspoon each). Return to oven and roast 15 minutes more.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325° F. Bake chicken and vegetables for 1 hour, undisturbed, until skin is crispy, juices run clear and an instant thermometer, inserted into thickest part of chicken, reads 185° F
- Remove chicken from oven and let rest 10 minutes before carving. Serve with roasted vegetables and top with pan juices.
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