Nothing comforts more than a good roasted chicken. This winter version celebrates the simplicity of citrus, which adds a surprising brightness to the dish. Serve with Chestnut Honeyed Carrots and a green salad with citrus vinaigrette and you have a simple satisfying feast.
SHOPPING LIST:1 whole, preferably organic, chicken, about 4-5#
4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 Tablespoon Citrus & Fennel Savory Salt
4-5 satsuma tangerines or oranges
PREPARATION: Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut the chicken down each side of the backbone. Remove the backbone and reserve it for stock. (Or better yet, ask your butcher to do it for you!) Lay the chicken out flat. Season the inside of the chicken with half of the salt. Turn the chicken over and rub the skin with olive oil and the remaining salt.
Heat a cast iron (or heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven) on a medium-high flame until hot. Add 2 Tablespoons oil and heat just until smoking. Place the chicken, bone side down (skin side up), in the pan. Sear until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. With a large set of tongs, gently turn the chicken over and sear the other side until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. This side will take longer to brown than the first side because there is more surface area of skin to sear.
After the chicken is browned, add the tangerines. Cook the chicken for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375 degrees and cook for another 20 to 25 minutes. Check for doneness by the touch or by inserting a thermometer into one of the legs. The juices should run clear when the chicken is done.
Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut the bird into pieces, starting with the legs, then the thighs and breast. It should almost fall apart if cooked enough. Cut the breast crosswise into two pieces. Place on a plate or platter and pour the pan drippings over the chicken and serve with the cooked tangerines, which are also delicious used in a sherry vinaigrette and tossed with a green salad.