Mindy Fox's Roast Chicken with Lemon Butter and Potatoes
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 2 to 4
I made this recipe once without the basil and once with, and it's delicious either way. The garlic and scallions, however, are key.
  • 1 (4-pound) whole chicken (buy the best one you can)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 lemons
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • Flaky coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ pounds small to medium potatoes (about 1½ inches in diameter), cut lengthwise into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ cups packed fresh-leaf parsley leaves, stems trimmed to one inch
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F with the rack in the middle. Pull off excess fa around the cavities and discard. From the edge of the cavity, slip a finger under the skin of each of the breasts and gently but thoroughly loosen the skin from the meat of the breasts and thighs.
  2. Put the basil and butter in a bowl. Finely zest the lemons into the bowl, holding the zester close so you can capture the flavorful oil that sprays from the lemons as you zest. Add the garlic and scallions and mix together.
  3. Using your hands and working with about 1 tablespoon of the butter at a time, push the mixture into the spaces you created between the chicken skin and meat, being careful not to tear the skin. As you work the mixture in, gently rub your hand over the outside of the skin to smooth out the butter and push it farther down between the skin and meat where you may have not been able to reach with your hand.
  4. Season the chicken all over, using 2 to 3 teaspoons salt and generous pepper, then tie the legs together with kitchen string. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and generous pepper to coat well. Cut 1 lemon lengthwise into quarters and set aside.
  5. Put a roasting pan (not nonstick) or 9x13-inch baking dish in the oven to heat for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately put the potatoes and any oil left in the bowl into the pan, keeping them in as much of a single layer as possible, and push to the edges of the pan to make room for the chicken. Put the chicken into the pan, breast-side up. (It's fine if the bird sits on some of the potatoes.)
  6. Roast for 20 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and turn the chicken breast-side down. Continue to roast for another 20 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and turn the bird breast-side up again. Sprinkle the parsley over the potatoes then stir to coat with the pan drippings. Squeeze 3 lemon quarters over the chicken, and put the squeezed rinds into the roasting pan. Continue to roast until the juices of the chicken run clear when the thigh is pierced with a fork, 20 to 30 minutes more.
  7. Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board. Let rest for another 5 minutes, then carve. Spoon the pan juices over the chicken and serve with potatoes and roasted lemons.
Recipe by Eat Better, Drink Better at http://eatbetterdrinkbetter.com/a-celebratory-roast-chicken/