Roast chicken – worthy of Canadian Living’s cover page

Roast chicken is a true staple of most family menus including my own. Needless to say that interpretations are limitless and unfortunately, sometimes dull.

I’ll be hitting you up with chanterelle, cream and cognac chicken later this fall that is simply to die for – Stay posted. 

Nonetheless, the famous “poulet rôti” has found a way to wiggle itself as my preferred 2012 “dish of the summer”, all thanks to a recipe that was as interesting to read as it was mind blowing. In short, you’ll be making a bird so tasty and gorgeous that it’ll be worthy of the Canadian Living magazine cover page.

Credit for introducing me to this recipe – or ethos of the roast chicken – goes to my friend Dave Marr – He and a couple of friends have this great blog that you should check-out:

Now, prepare for that roast chicken – it just might be the best one you ever make. 


  • 1 whole chicken (emptied)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 or 3 heads of garlic
  • A few sprigs of thyme or rosemary
  • 1 or 2 onions cut in rough wedges
  • *optional: Little potatoes cut in halves or in 4 if they’re big enough
  • *optional: a few carrots and leek also roughly diced
  • Salt & pepper
  • Cognac and 35% whipping cream for the sauce (you can use whipping cream for everything, no use buying a bunch of kinds with additives).


Start your oven at 425 degrees F. Yes, that’s hot. Do it – for it shall result in the greatest, juiciest chicken.

Take a good oven dish that will fit the cut veggies of your choice*, or just the onion and the chicken that you will sit over the veggies once its been prepared.

Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Peel and cut a piece of garlic in half and rub the chicken with the cut half all over.

Sprinkle salt over and inside the entire chicken and rub it – quite well. If you’re doing this in the presence of friends or guests, inappropriate discussions may erupt at this point. Do the same with pepper.

Take the hard end off the 2 or 3 garlic cloves and crush roughly with the side of your knife while leaving the peel on the garlic. Stuff the whole garlic cloves into the chicken’s cavity. Inappropriate discussions to intensify.

Now, sit the bird atop your veggies in your oven dish, fetch your olive oil and drizzle it all over the chicken and rub some more – like – massage the chicken. Discussion ends in awkward silence.

To finish, take a few sprigs of thyme or rosemary ( personally, I find that thyme gives a slightly better taste to the meat, and to the sauce after – the rosemary is good too, however, I find it a little too subtle) and stuff it with the garlic in the chicken’s cavity.

Put your massaged chicken in the oven and let cook uncovered for about 75-90 minutes or until the meat reaches 170 degrees. Once ready, leave the chicken meat out to rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes while you prepare the sauce.

The sauce:

Take whatever veggies* or the onions out of your dish and reserve.

Place your dish on medium-high heat and let reduce a bit while you stir with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add from 1/4 to 1/2 cup cognac and let reduce some more while making sure to scratch any brown caramelization from the pot with your spoon (this helps make for a wicked sauce or gravy). Add a shot of cream, salt to taste and a lot of fresh ground pepper.

Cut your chicken into slices, set your plates with onion slices and veggies and serve some sauce atop each portion.


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Categories: Food


Aspiring food writer, serious traveler, media enthusiast and communications specialist from Montréal, Canada. Follow me on twitter @aalavoie

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