When it comes to roast chicken, the first rule of thumb is to get the best bird that you can find. There are no fancy techniques that you can hide behind when it comes to roast chicken. The flavour of your dish will rest on the freshness and quality of your chicken. This recipe helps you maximise your chicken to make it the centrepiece of your Sunday get-together.
Preheat the oven at 425° F.
Rinse the chicken with water. Make sure to clean out even the inner crevices. Pat it dry with thick paper towels and let it rest.
Prepare the herbed butter by dividing your fresh herbs into two equal portions. Finely chop half of the herbs and keep the other half intact.
Use a spatula to mash the softened butter in a small bowl. Slowly incorporate the herbs into the butter and mix them until combined.
Place your chicken on a roasting pan and rub the herbed butter under the chicken skin and all over the outer skin as well.
Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper. Prepare your chicken for the stuffing.
Gather up the orange, garlic, the small onion, and the fresh herbs and stuff them into the cavity. Use kitchen twine to tie the chicken legs together to prevent the stuffing from falling out as well as to help the chicken maintain its shape.
Flip the chicken on the pan and ensure that the breast is facing up. Place the medium sized onion alongside the chicken. This will help to add more intensity and flavour to the sauce.
Separate your bacon strips and lay them across the chicken breast. Place the chicken into the oven and cook it for 25 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven. Peel off the bacon strips and baste the chicken in its own drippings. Place it back in the oven to cook for another 25 minutes or until it becomes golden brown.
A perfectly cooked chicken should read 165° F on a kitchen thermometer from its thigh. If you do not have one on hand, test to make sure if the chicken legs can easily be removed from their sockets instead.
Once cooked, transfer the chicken to a serving plate and let it rest for 10-15 minutes in order to let the juices settle. Remove the roasted onion from the pan as well.
Collect the chicken drippings from the pan. Using a wooden spoon, focus on scraping off as much fat as you can. Transfer the fat into a roasting pan and cook it over medium heat. Slowly stir in the flour to make a thick paste. Slowly incorporate the chicken broth into the paste. Keep stirring the mixture to prevent the flour from clumping. Pour the sherry into the mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
For a grand presentation, serve the chicken whole and carve it on the table. Remove the orange from the cavity and squeeze out its juices over the chicken meat.