Makes 1 chicken, 4 servings
Making a great roast chicken is, in my view, a necessary life skill. Much like being able to change a flat tire or perform the Heimlich maneuver, having this recipe in your arsenal will prove to be life saving time and time again. Roast one (or two, depending on the crowd) for Sunday dinner and then use the leftovers all week in sandwiches, salads, or pasta.
1 (4-pound) roasting chicken Salt and pepper
1 small lemon, quartered
1 recipe Dijon Herb Butter, cut in 6 round pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
5 to 6 cups baby arugula, washed and dried
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Rinse the chicken thoroughly and pat it dry all over with paper towel to remove any excess moisture; this will help ensure the bird gets a nice crispy skin when roasting. I like to allow the bird to come to room temperature before cooking.
Place the chicken in a 9 × 13-inch roasting pan and tuck the wings under the body.
Generously season the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper, then place the lemon quarters inside. Gently lift the breast skin of the bird and place two rounds of the Dijon herb butter under the skin atop each breast (using four rounds of butter in total). I like to use the back side of a spoon to help me lift the skin, being careful to take my time so as to not tear it. Once the butter is in place, use some kitchen twine to tie the legs together in a simple bow.
Rub the outside of the bird with the olive oil and generously season with more salt and pepper.
Place the chicken in the oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes per pound (60 to 80 minutes for this 4-pound bird) or until the juices run clear when you make a little cut between the thigh and leg. Baste the bird with juices every 15 minutes until done.
Remove from the oven and place the last two pieces of Dijon butter atop the chicken, then tent with foil and allow to rest for about 15 minutes.
Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a small liquid measuring cup and whisk to fully combine. (I also like to use a leftover jam jar to mix salad dressings; just put everything in the jar, make sure the lid is on tight, and give it a good shake.)
Spread the arugula across a serving platter and gently toss with the dressing. Place the warm chicken atop the arugula and serve! (You can also carve the bird beforehand and place the pieces atop the arugula, but I think it’s a little more fun to carve the bird at the table, and—bonus!—the salad gets smothered in its lovely juices.)