Herb Roasted Chicken with Crispy Skin


Herb Roasted Chicken with Crispy Skin

Red or white, this one is up to you. We like a creamy Chardonnay or a peppery Zinfandel, but it all depends on your mood.. what fruits you're serving with the chicken... and what the temperature is in the room.


You never thought chicken was sexy? Think again! This recipe is really an entire meal (sans a few hunks of cheese and or a mouthful of something sweet at the end), and combines the most simple, rustic flavors to create a surprisingly sensual dinner. So easy, and yet so delicious. Don't try this if you're afraid to get your hands dirty... this is slippery, juicy, messy and oh-so-much-fun. You'll need warm hand towels or finger bowls (decorated with flower petals, of course!) nearby when you and your baby get ready to dig in.


One whole chicken (preferably free range!)
4-5 cloves of garlic
Olive Oil
Fresh Herbs
One lemon

Fresh Fruit

How to Serve:

First: select a nice whole bird from the meat counter at your local market, being sure to choose one with firm, pink skin and plump, springy legs. Lightly wash the chicken beneath running water, then pat it dry and place it on a shallow pan, breast side up. Gently pull the skin from the meat and stuff fresh herbs, coarse salt and fresh chunks of garlic into the gaps. I recommend stalks of rosemary, oregano and basil, but use whatever sounds good to you. Once the herbs are in place, rub the skin with a light coating of extra virgin olive oil, and squeeze the juice of one lemon over the top. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Tie up the legs with twine, if you have it handy, then bake the chicken in a 425 degree oven for about 35 minutes. When the skin is golden and crispy and the breast meat runs clear juice when poked, it's done.

Next: Find an assortment of fresh, seasonal fruit to accompany the chicken: Mango. Papaya. Pears. Pomegranate. Choose two or three of your favorites, and cube, slice or dice the fruits into bite-sized chunks. Fruit at room temperature is best, because it has the most pungent aroma and releases the maximum amount of flavor when placed on the tongue. Arrange the hot chicken in the center of a large platter and cluster the fruit around and on top of it. Heap it up, pile it on; be reckless! The more color you have on the plate, the better. Garnish the platter with rose petals and roasted almonds, then place one whole rose to one side, and you have a platter fit for Cleopatra.

This meal is best eaten in close proximity to your lover... try reclining on pillows on the floor, or cover your coffee table with a tablecloth and stick a few candles on it and jump on the couch. Tear the flesh from the chicken and feed it each other with slippery fingers. Alternate chicken with fruit, and savor the salty crunch of an almond after a sweet slice of mango. Let the juices run down your arms, and lick the sides of each others mouths to taste. Mmmm.....!

Wine Pairings:
For an alternative to fruit, try pairing the chicken with hummus and an assortment of savory black and green olives.

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