This simple roasted chicken makes the perfect Sunday meal and will have you dreaming of lazy summer days in the French countryside. You can then use any left over chicken in quick week night meals or sandwiches. Herbs de Provence is an aromatic blend of herbs such as basil, rosemary, tarragon, chervil, garlic, thyme, parsley and lavender. Look for this heavenly herb mixture from higher quality, all-natural spice companies. Or you can make your own with any combination of these dried herbs. The slight touch of lavender really takes this to the next level, giving it that special touch of Provence. If you’re considering what herbs to grow this spring – you can’t go wrong with any of these.
Pre-heat your oven to 400 F. Clean and pat dry your chicken with paper towels. Place the chicken in a roasting pan or large deep skillet. Drizzle and rub all over the chicken with extra virgin olive oil (about a table spoon). Season the chicken inside and out with a little sea salt and ground pepper. Place aromatics such as cut up pieces of celery, sweet onion, lemon wedges, fresh thyme or rosemary in the cavity and under the chicken. Sprinkle the dried herbs de Provence mixture all over the chicken and on the inside (about a table spoon). Sprinkle a small amount of paprika over the chicken for a richer color. Into the oven the chicken goes. After about 15 minutes reduce the heat to 350 and continue roasting until the juices run clear and the temperature of the inner thigh registers 160 F on a meat thermometer. This usually takes about 50 to 60 minutes depending on the size of the chicken. Baste part-way through to help keep it moist. Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and let it rest on a cutting board or platter for about 10 minutes before cutting into it. Remember the temperature will continue to rise to 165 F when it is perfect.
Serve with your favorite vegetable. In this case, roasted carrots, green beans and red bell pepper seasoned only with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. This can roast along with the chicken about 3/4 of the way through your cooking time on the upper rack on a baking sheet.