As part of a promotional campaign for the movie "Julie and Julia," Sony Pictures asked esteemed chefs to share recipes that were inspired by Julia Child. This one comes from the Union Square Cafe Cookbook by Danny Meyer and Michael Romano.
1 (4- to 5-lb.) chicken
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
4 thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped tarragon
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup sliced onion
2 cups chicken stock
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The day before roasting chicken (or at least 8 hours ahead), season inside and out with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Truss chicken, tying its legs together tightly with kitchen twine. Rub the butter all over the chicken. Place breast side down on a roasting rack set in a roasting pan. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
Remove chicken from oven and place the thyme, parsley, tarragon, carrots, celery and onion in the pan under rack. Turn chicken over onto its back and continue to roast breast side up another 35 to 40 minutes, or until skin is browned. To check for doneness, place a meat thermometer in thickest part of the thigh, being careful not to pierce through to the cavity. It should read 170 degrees F. If you don't have a thermometer, tilt the chicken forward on rack until juices run from cavity. They should be clear with no trace of pinkness.
Transfer the chicken to a platter. Allow to rest in a warm for 15 minutes before carving. Remove the rack, tilt the roasting pan and pour off the fat, leaving vegetables and herbs in the pan. Place the pan over medium-high flame and pour in chicken stock as well as any juice that has accumulated on the platter. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Strain.
Carve the chicken and serve with hot herbed pan juices. Makes 4 servings.