Slashed Chicken with Herb Butter
- 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh chervil
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
- 1 chicken, 3 to 4 lb.
- 2 bay leaves, cut in half
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the butter, parsley, chives, chervil, thyme, lemon zest, the 1 tsp. salt and the 1/2 tsp. pepper and stir until well blended. Set the compound butter aside.
Rinse the chicken with cold water and pat dry. Set the chicken, breast side up. Using a sharp knife, cut 3 slashes, each 4 inches long and 1/2 inch deep, in each breast. Cut 2 slashes, each 3 inches long and 1/2 inch deep, in each leg. Rub the compound butter all over the chicken, pushing the butter into the slashes. Place 1/2 bay leaf in 1 slash of each breast and leg. Push the garlic slices into all the slashes. Be sure to push the bay leaves and garlic securely into the slashes. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
Carefully place the chicken, breast side up, in the hot pan. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170°F, 50 to 60 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 to 25 minutes. Carve the chicken and arrange on a warmed platter. Serve 4.