This roast chicken makes a nice Sunday lunch or dinner. You may serve it with mash potatoes or French fries. The leftover chicken is great for sandwiches.
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 stick or 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoons paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon szechuan pepper (optional)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 lemon, zested
Note: The garlic cloves can be substituted for dry garlic powder, 1 teaspoon.
- Preheat the oven to 475º F. Place the rack in the middle position.
- In a bowl, combine the butter, garlic cloves, lemon zest, salt and pepper to form a paste. I do sometimes add fresh rosemary to the paste.
- Using the fingers, gently separate the skin above the breast. Push the paste under the skin. I usually find it useful to use a chopstick to do that.
- Poke the lemon with the tip of a knife (about 10 times) and place the lemon inside the chicken’s cavity.
- Rub the olive oil on the chicken skin and sprinkle the paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and szechuan pepper (if using) on the skin.
- Place the chicken on the oven rack (middle position) and immediately lower the temperature to 400ºF. Cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Baste after 45 minutes.
- Internal temperature should show 165º F and the juice should run clear.
- Let the chicken rest for about 15 minutes before carving.