I have vague memories of my mother making this a long time ago, when we lived in British Columbia.
The combination of fresh tarragon and lemon and salt permeates every inch of the chicken and it’s lovely and moist.
So take your whole chicken. This little baby is a local Newfoundland chicken, one of the few forms of livestock produced in-province. You can tell that they haven’t used any growth hormones because of how small it is. And they taste really good.
Remove all the giblets and cut off the excess skin.
Work your fingers under the skin to make room for the herbs ‘n’ such.
In a small bowl, mix together some tarragon leaves and some sea salt. Squish up the tarragon a bit.
Work it under the skin of the chicken, and then tuck in a few lemon slices.
Put extra tarragon and lemon inside the chicken.
Put the chicken in a roasting pan, or a baking pan with a small rack underneath. This keeps the chicken out of the juices it will leak during cooking and prevents it from getting soggy. I trussed the chicken up a little bit to give it some shape. Just tie a bit of kitchen string around the legs and tuck it under the wings to hold everything in place. Just keep in mind that trussed chickens don’t cook as evenly as untrussed chickens.
We’re going to do a one-dish meal here, so I’m also roasting some potatoes, together with some carrots. Slice them up and toss them in the pan around the chicken, with a drizzling of oil and some salt and pepper.
Roast at 375°F until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 180°F. Stir up the vegetables once or twice to make sure they brown evenly. Stick a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh (without touching the bone) for this reading. We have a digital thermometer from Lee Valley that beeps at us when the chicken is done. Also, if you cut into the chicken at this point, all the juices will run clear and the meat will be white, not pink. I’m going to turn the carcass and leftovers into chicken noodle soup. Stay tuned.