Roasted chicken is the ultimate comfort food and makes a regular appearance on our Sunday table. It's an all season favorite too. In the cooler months, nothing tastes better on a cool and dreary day than a classic roasted chicken served alongside a creamy vegetable gratin and a crisp winter salad. As the weather warms up this Spring, it's perfect for an alfresco meal served with lemons and market greens. The most important thing to keep in mind, as in all cooking, is the quality of your ingredients. Seek out a purveyor at your local farmers' market and ask for a free-range chicken that has been pasture-raised.
Roasted Chicken with White Wine Jus
One small Bresse chicken, 3 to 3 1/2 pounds
4 sprigs fresh thyme
Fleur de sel
Freshly cracked black pepper
For the White Wine Jus
1 shallot, finely diced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Rinse the chicken and dry inside an out.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
Season the chicken inside and out with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle the top of the breast with the fresh thyme leaves. Choose a shallow roasting pan just a little larger than the chicken. Preheat the pan over medium heat. Place the chicken breast side up in the pan.
Place in the center of the oven and roast for approximately 30 minutes. Turn the bird over and continue roasting for 15 minutes, then turn it over again to recaps the breast skin for another 10 or 15 minutes, depending on the size of the bird.
Remove the chicken from the roasting pan onto a warm cutting board to rest. Carefully pour off the fat from the roasting pan, leaving the pan drippings. Place over medium-low heat, add the shallots, thyme and bay leaf and simmer until the shallots begin to soften. Add the wine. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, scrape the bottom of the pan to release the crusty bits. Simmer until the jus is reduced by half. Strain into a clean saucepan and bring it back to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add a knob of butter. Swirl the saucepan until the butter is melted and incorporated into the jus. Check for seasoning. Serve immediately.