After slicing my finger while cutting onions for our favorite Mexican Chicken Soup, there hasn’t been too much cooking this past week. I will spare you the gory details, but let me implore you: be careful with knives!

But now we’re back!

The Ultimate Roast Chicken Provencal
from Tyler’s Ultimate: Brilliant Simple Food to Make Any Time

Serves 4

Herb paste

leaves from 1 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
leaves from 1/4 bunch of fresh thyme
leaves from 1 bunch of fresh tarragon
4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

1 whole (3 1/2 pound) chicken
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 lemon, cut in half, plus 1/2 lemon sliced paper-thin
3 big tomatoes, cut into wedges
4 small zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds
1 red onion, thinly sliced
leaves from 4 fresh thyme sprigs
extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400.

Throw the ingredients for the herb paste into a blender and puree into a green paste.

Rinse the chicken with cool water inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Set the chicken on a cutting board, and season the cavity generously with salt and pepper. Stuff the lemon halves into the cavity. Fold the wing tips under the bird and tie the legs together with kitchen string to give it a nice shape while it cooks (I didn’t). Rub the chicken all over the herb paste so it’s well coated.

Put the chicken in a large roasting pan fitted with a rack and scatter the tomatoes, zucchini, onion, lemon slices, and thyme around. Give the vegetables a big, healthy dose of olive oil – 1/4 cup should do it – and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the chicken into the oven and roast for 1 hour; then check on it with an instant-read thermometer by popping it into the thickest part of the thigh. When it reads 160 the bird is cooked.

Take the pan out of the oven and let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before carving so the juices have a chance to settle back into the meat. Serve with the roasted vegetables.


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