Saturday, October 3, 2009

Roast Chicken with Herbed Mushrooms

A long while back in my hotel career, we had a really attractive Chef. His nickname amongst us girls was "Chef Yum Yum." Nowadays, my "Chef Yum Yum" is Tyler Florence. His shows are easygoing, they produce easy and wonderful food and he's easy on the eyes. What more could you want?!

A couple of weeks ago, I cooked this Roast Chicken. It was extremely easy and made a very simple and elegant dinner. It is easy enough to be a weekday meal and fancy enough to serve to guests over the weekend. And the really wonderful thing is the aroma that the chicken gives to your home; your guests will think you cooked all day long for them.

Pair this with a lovely butter lettuce salad with a simple vinaigrette and something easy and chocolate for dessert. And voila!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Serves 4-7 servings

1 (3 pound) organic free-range chicken

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 red onion, quartered
1/2 lemon, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 head garlic, about 6 cloves, smashed
1 bunch fresh thyme
1-1/2T extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 pound sliced bacon, cut in 1/2
3 pounds whole cremini mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp towel

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season the cavity with salt and pepper.

3. In a large bowl, combine the onion, lemon, garlic, half the thyme, and 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt and pepper and mix well. Stuff the bird with the mixture. Using 2 (3-foot) pieces of kitchen twine, tie up the chicken; tuck the wing tips between the wings and the body. Put the midpoint of the twine under the chicken, bring the ends up and around the wings and pull them tight against the body. Bring the ends of the twince up underneath the legs, wrap the sting around them, pull the legs together and tie them tightly. Place the chicken, breast side up in a roasting pan, and layer the strips of bacon on the breast until covered. Scatter over the remaining thyme, drizzle over some more olive oil and season everything with salt and pepper.

4. Roast the chicken for 1-1/2 hours; arrange the mushrooms around the chicken 45 minutes after roasting. Baste the chicken and mushrooms with the pan juices every 20 minutes. The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (the legs should wiggle easily in their sockets).

5. Remove the chicken from the pan, cover with foil, and let stand for 10 minutes to rest. Serve the chicken with the roasted mushrooms and pan juices.

(Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence)

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