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Salt-and-Pepper Roast Chicken

Salt-and-Pepper Roast ChickenThis wonderfully simple recipe by Melissa Clark comes from The New York Times.

As she says, "Calling for just four ingredients – chicken, salt, pepper and whatever herbs you have around – this is a recipe for roast chicken at its simplest and best."
Note: our Pasture-raised Chicken is leaner than standard chicken, so we recommend a lower roasting temperature, and check the chicken periodically to avoid overcooking.
Here's what Melissa says about the recipe: "Calling for just four ingredients – chicken, salt, pepper and whatever herbs you have around – this is a recipe for roast chicken at its simplest and best. The method is fairly straightforward.”
"You season the bird, then roast it at high heat until the skin is bronzed and crisp and the flesh juicy. If you have time to season the chicken ahead, you should; it makes a difference in flavor.”
"And bear in mind, if you have the kind of oven that starts smoking at high heat, you can cook your bird at 400 degrees instead of 450, though you'll need an extra 5 to 20 minutes to get it done.”
She recommends serving it with a side sauce, such as an aioli, béarnaise sauce, salsa verde, romesco sauce, chimichurri, a previously prepared gravy, or a dollop of Dijon mustard.
Salt-and-Pepper Roast Chicken
By Melissa Clark for The New York Times. Photo by Andred Scrivani for The New York Times.
Makes 4 servings
We like Melissa's Paleo-oriented suggestion to substitute greens for grain:
"Serve your chicken directly on top of a pile of watercress, baby kale, tatsoi, arugula, or other tender, dark greens that have been sprinkled with lemon juice and dusted with salt. The heat of the bird will wilt some of the greens while others remain crisp, and the hot chicken fat makes an instant dressing once it mixes with the lemon juice.”
1 (3 1/2-pound) whole pastured chicken, patted dry
2½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
Small bunch mixed herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and sage
  • Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. If you have time, refrigerate the chicken, uncovered, for an hour, or overnight.
  • Heat oven to 450 degrees [our pastured chicken is leaner than most, so we recommend 375-400 degrees]. Place chicken breast-side up in a roasting pan or large ovenproof skillet. Stuff cavity with herbs and tie the legs together with kitchen twine. (If you don't have twine, leave the legs as they are.)
  • Roast 50 minutes [our pastured chicken may cook sooner: check it at the 40 minute mark], then baste chicken with pan juices. Continue roasting until chicken's juices run clear when skin is pierced with a knife, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before carving. 
Nutritional analysis per serving (recipe makes 4 servings):
859 calories; 59 grams fat; 17 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 24 grams monounsaturated fat; 12 grams polyunsaturated fat; 1 gram carbohydrates; 0 grams dietary fiber; 0 grams sugars; 74 grams protein; 297 milligrams cholesterol; 1732 milligrams sodium
Note: This information is an estimate based on generic nutrition tables, and information for standard chicken. Our pastured chicken is leaner than most, so this recipe may have less fat than indicated.
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