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Author Notes: My mother makes the best roast chicken. To me, roast chicken means home, wherever I am. She taught me to make this when she was sick in bed with my chicken pox, when I was about thirteen. My mom lives 8,000 miles away, and I think of her every time I eat or make this chicken, which is often. The herbs can obviously be varied, according to the season. The result is crispy skin, falling-apart tender meat, with delicious, sticky potatoes. No oil or butter is added. The high temperature is important. —Marie Viljoen
- 1 Organic chicken
- 1 Shallot, peeled and split
- 3 Garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 sprigs fresh Thyme
- 2 sprigs Tarragon
- 1 Slice of lemon
- Salt and pepper
- 5 Red potatoes
- 1 Lemon's juice
- 1 cup Water
- Preheat oven to 450'F.
- Place shallot, herbs, lemon and some salt and fresh black pepper in cavity of chicken.
- Slice potatoes into rounds, not too thin or thick and lay in the bottom of a cast iron skillet.
- Place chicken on top of potatoes.
- Tuck garlic cloves under chicken.
- Squeeze the lemon's juice over the chicken, and season it liberally with salt and pepper.
- Pour the water into the pan. This helps turn the potatoes creamy and forms a wonderful pan juice.
- Put into the hot oven and roast for about an hour and twenty minutes. Turn the heat down to 425 after 45 minutes. No basting is called for: the skin will be perfectly brown and crisp.
- Allow to rest for ten minutes before carving.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for The Best Recipe or Technique Your Mother Taught You