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Roast Chicken with Dried Herb and Spice Rub

In this recipe from Chef Adam Sobel, a simple roast chicken gets a big flavor boost from a rub that includes a medley of dried herbs and spices. Be sure to place the chicken on a roasting rack in a snug pan; this will keep the basting butter and cooking juices from spreading out and burning. The chicken is first roasted at a lower oven temperature, then the heat is increased during the last 10 minutes. Explains Chef Sobel, “The sear comes at the end of the cooking process because, at that point, the fat has been rendered out and the skin is tighter, so you get a crispier end product.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken, about 3 1/2 lb.
  • 2 tsp. plus 1/4 cup dried herb and spice rub (see related recipe at left)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter with a pinch of dried herb and spice rub, melted until foamy

Directions:

Rinse the chicken inside and out. Drain the excess liquid trapped in the cavity and pat dry inside and out with paper towels. The chicken must be bone-dry before you apply the rub, as any excess moisture creates steam in the oven and prevents the skin from crisping. To help it dry, place the chicken on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and leave it on the back of the stove for about 10 minutes while you preheat the oven.

Preheat an oven to 325°F.

Place the 2 tsp. dried herb and spice rub in the chicken cavity and spread to coat the interior surface.

Rub the olive oil all over the outside of the chicken, making sure to get it into the crevices around the legs and wings. (When the chicken is dry, the skin can feel almost papery in some places. Rubbing the oil between the palms of your hands and then coating the chicken helps to evenly distribute the oil.) Sprinkle the chicken with the 1/4 cup dried herb and spice rub, patting the mixture onto the surfaces on both sides, as well as into the crevices in the leg and wing areas.

Place the chicken on a V-shaped rack in a shallow roasting pan with a snug fit and drizzle with the melted spiced butter.

Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 45 minutes, using a spoon to occasionally baste the chicken with the liquid from the pan bottom. Turn on the stove vent, increase the oven temperature to 425°F and roast for 10 minutes more.

Remove the chicken from the oven and insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone; it should register about 165°F. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let rest for at least 10 minutes before carving. Serves 4.

Recipe Courtesy of Adam Sobel, Executive Chef, Bourbon Steak, Washington, D.C.