I don't like making statements like "everyone should do this or that", but really, everyone should have a good roasted chicken recipe in their arsenal.
It looks impressive but doesn't actually require that much effort, it can feed a big group, and most of the time it's a one-pan meal which means fewer dishes to clean. Oh, and it's delicious!
My favorite recipe of late comes from Downtime by Nadine Levy Redzepi.
It's a lemon, olive oil, garlic, and thyme roast chicken, with potatoes — and it's delicious.
The chicken comes out super juicy and flavorful, with the lemon, garlic, and olive oil brightening up the whole dish. The potatoes are also perfect: crispy on the outside and super soft on the inside.
Here's the recipe if you'd like to make it at home:
ROAST CHICKEN AND POTATOES WITH GARLIC AND THYME
Serves 4 to 6
1 roasting chicken, about 5. pounds (2.5 kg)
12 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
About 14 fresh thyme sprigs
10 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
Take the chicken out of the fridge 1 to 2 hours before you plan to cook it. Wipe the chicken completely dry with paper towels. You want the chicken to be as close to room temperature as possible before it goes in the oven to ensure that it cooks evenly.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Cut the lemon into 6 wedges. Crush the garlic cloves with the flat side of your knife and discard the papery skins. Rub the chicken all over with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season inside and out with ½ teaspoon of the salt. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and stuff the body cavity with the lemon, garlic, and thyme. Make sure you use a large roasting pan with plenty of room for the chicken and the potatoes. You want the potatoes to be able to make contact with the hot pan to get nice and crisp.
Scrub the potatoes and cut them in half lengthwise. Arrange the potatoes around the chicken, cut side down. Drizzle the potatoes with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt.
Roast the chicken for about 1 hour. Raise the oven temperature to 425°F (220°C). Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast near the wing joint, but not touching a bone, reaches 175°F (80°C), about 30 minutes more. Raising the heat near the end of cooking will give the bird the crisp brown skin you want.
Bring the chicken to the table right in the pan to serve. Twist off the wings and legs, then use a sharp knife to cut through the skin on the thighs; you should be able to pull them away from the carcass easily. Twist or cut the thighs off. Slice down either side of the breastbone to free the breast meat. Place the chicken and some of the potatoes onto each plate.
Now tilt the carcass so the lemony juices from the cavity run easily into the pan, and stir them together. Spoon some of the pan juices and the remaining potatoes onto each plate
Reprinted from Downtime: Deliciousness at Home by arrangement with Pam Krauss Books, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2017, Nadine Levy Redzepi.