by Jackie Ang-Po
1 whole chicken
1/2 bunch each fresh oregano, thyme, rosemary and parsley
½ cup softened butter
1 head garlic
1 medium carrots dice
2 stalk celery dice
2 meduim white onion, 1 halved for stuffing and 1 dice
1 medium white onion, halved, plus 1 onion
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 strips bacon (preferably smoked)
1/4 cup sherry, red wine or apple cider (juice)
Serving with: roast potatoes (parboil and include in the baking) and gravy
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. • Rinse the chicken with cool water, inside and out. Pat it dry with paper towels. Divide the herbs, keeping 1/2 of them whole. Finely chop the other half.
A few hours before cooking, mash the softened butter with the chopped herbs, salt and pepper until combined. Rub the herbed butter under the skin, as well as all over the outside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the lemon, garlic (tale out the top to expose the meat), 1 onion, and the remaining fresh herbs.
Make small holes on each of the loose skin at the bottom of the breast and put the ends of the legs through these holes to fasten them. Place the chicken, breast-side up, in a roasting pan. Put the carrots, celery, and onion into the pan, which will help color and flavor the sauce. Lay the strips of bacon across the breast of the chicken and cover the roasting pan with foil.
Roast for 35 minutes. • Remove the foil and baste the chicken with the drippings and cook for another 35 minutes. The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (the legs of the chicken should wiggle easily from the sockets too.) Remove the chicken to a platter and let stand for 10 minutes, so the juices settle back into the meat before carving. •
Meanwhile, remove the softened vegetables from the roasting pan. Tilt the pan so the drippings collect in 1 corner, skimming off as much fat as possible, leaving the drippings and the vegetables. Place the vegetables and drippings in a blender, puree and add wine. Season with salt and pepper.