I spent Saturday morning curled up in front of the fire, with a hot latte in my hand, while reading a pile of cookbooks I checked out from the library. My perfect kind of morning! I wanted to make something healthy and delicious yet comforting for our Sunday dinner. Luckily, I found this roasted chicken recipe in Tyler Florence’s cookbook, Dinner at my Place. I was intrigued that he used fresh bay leaves in the cavity of the bird. I’ve only added dried bay leaves to recipes in the past, and usually only to soups and stews. I loved that the bird is simply seasoned inside and out. I’ve really been trying to cook more simply lately. The aroma from the lemon, bay leaves, and thyme made the house smell terrific while the chicken roasted. The meat turned out very tender, juicy, and flavorful while the skin was crispy and delicious. My family loved this roasted chicken and it paired nicely with the smashed potatoes (recipe to follow) and wilted spinach I served it with.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Remove chicken giblets out of the cavity and rinse the chicken. Pat dry with paper towels then drizzle some olive oil on the chicken and rub it evenly all over. Season the entire bird very will with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
Season the inside of the cavity with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste then place the garlic halves, lemon halves, fresh bay leaves, and fresh thyme sprigs into the cavity. Place the bird on a roasting rack in a roasting pan.
Place a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. Place the chicken into the oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours or until the temperature reaches 180 degrees and the juices run clear. Remove the chicken from the oven and let the bird rest for at least 10 minutes before carving. Enjoy.