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Herb-Roasted Chicken with Chardonnay Sauce

Herb-Roasted Chicken with Chardonnay Sauce
When served with a flavorful pan sauce, a simple roasted chicken is elevated to a dish that's fit for company. Here, we prepare the sauce with Chardonnay wine, chicken stock and our Chardonnay vinegar, a complex, aromatic elixir that derives its distinctive character from Napa Valley wine.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh thyme
  • 3⁄4 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to
     taste
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 chicken, 4 to 5 lb., rinsed and patted dry
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1⁄2 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 Tbs. Chardonnay vinegar*
  • 3⁄4 cup chicken stock
  • 1⁄4 cup Chardonnay
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces, at room
     temperature

Directions:

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 425ºF.

In a small bowl, combine the thyme, the 3⁄4 tsp. salt, the 1⁄2 tsp. pepper and the olive oil. Brush the outside of the chicken with the thyme mixture. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Put the garlic cloves in the bottom of a small roasting pan.

Place the chicken on a rack in the roasting pan and roast for 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350°F and roast, basting occasionally with the pan juices, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170ºF, 50 to 60 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Pour off all but 2 Tbs. of the fat from the roasting pan. Set the pan over medium-high heat, add the onion and cook, stirring often and mashing the garlic cloves with a spoon, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook until the liquid is evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the stock and wine and cook, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom, until the sauce is slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a small saucepan, set over medium-low heat and whisk in the butter in two additions. Season with salt and pepper.

Carve the chicken and arrange on a warmed platter. Pour the sauce into a sauceboat and pass alongside. Serves 4.

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* Available at Williams-Sonoma stores.