This herb-infused chicken features the robust flavors of fall and is perfect to serve to company. Serve with creamy mashed potatoes and tender green beans.
- 1 medium apple, cored and coarsely chopped, plus 2 large apples
- 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 12 to 14 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary *
- 1 tablespoon chopped sage *
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme *
- 1 (3 1/2 to 4 pounds) whole chicken
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
- 1 teaspoon cracked white peppercorns (may substitute mixed white, green, pink and black peppercorns)
- 1 cup apple cider
Position an oven rack on the bottom shelf and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Have ready a shallow roasting pan.
In a small bowl, combine the chopped medium apple, onion, 2 chopped cloves garlic and herbs; set aside.
Rinse the chicken thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the inside of the chicken with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Stuff the apple-onion mixture into the cavity, then tie the chicken legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wings securely underneath. Rub the outside of the chicken with the olive oil and then with the mustard; season the outside with the remaining teaspoon of salt and the cracked peppercorns. Place in the roasting pan and bake.
After about 1 hour and 15 minutes, peel, core and quarter the remaining 2 apples. Add the apple and remaining 10 to 12 whole garlic cloves to the pan, moving them around with a spoon until they are evenly coated with the pan juices; roast for 30 minutes more, until the apples are soft and have caramelized. The chicken is done when the juices run clear and the internal temperature taken between the leg and thigh registers 160 degrees on a meat thermometer. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, cut the twine and remove the apple-onion mixture from the cavity, discarding it. Surround the chicken with the roasted apples and garlic.
Place the roasting pan (with remaining pan juices) on top of the stove over medium-high heat. Add the apple cider, scraping with a spatula to loosen any bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by one-third. Drizzle the sauce over the roasted apples and garlic. Serve immediately.
Adapted from a recipe by Russell Cronkhite, former chef at Blair House and author of "A Return to Sunday Dinner" (Multnomah, 2003).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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