On a cool, dark, fall or winter night, there is nothing more comforting that a great roast chicken (it beats turkey every time in our book!). This is our go-to recipe that features a seductively simple French-style mustard sauce that was one of Van Gogh’s favorites when he lived at the Auberge Ravoux (his last home).
Pro tip: if you can, roast two and use the other for chicken salad or, chicken soup later in the week!
- 1 4-6 lb. whole chicken
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 small onion, quartered
- several stems of fresh thyme
- lemon pepper spice
- salt & pepper
- 3 T melted butten
Pre-heat your oven to 450. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Season inside with salt and pepper. Put lemon and onion quarters, as well as thyme, into the cavity. Folds the wings under the breast and tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Place in roasting pan. Sprinkle skin with salt, pepper and lemon pepper. Baste with melted butter.
Pro tip: put salt and pepper together into a 1/4 C measure to make it easier to pour into the cavity.
Place in oven and set timer for 20 minutes. When timer goes off, reduce temperature to 350 and baste bird again. Set timer for 30 minutes.
After the timer goes off, baste bird again and check temperature. Roast until breast reaches 160 degrees – then remove to a cutting board (be sure to have some way to keep the juices from running all over the counter!) and tent with foil. Time to make the sauce!
- 2 T butter
- 2 T flour
- 1/2 C chicken stock
- 1/3 C heavy cream
- 2 T dijon mustard
- salt & pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. When melted, whisk in flour to make a roux. When it turns golden brown, slowly add chicken broth and whisk to combine. Then add cream and mustard – whisk and add more broth if too thick. Season with salt and pepper.
Pro tip: if you have some good pan drippings, put roasting pan over medium heat and deglaze with white wine and then add to your sauce.
Carve the bird and serve smothered with sauce. We’ll serve with either roasted potatoes or rice pilaf and bourbon-glazed carrots. Simple and amazing!