I've never made a secret of my love and respect for a plain, old-fashioned, unreconstructed roast chicken. Why would I? But sometimes it's good to play, and the brandy and bacon here bring flavor (and help the bird bronze up beautifully) but not distraction. It's still what it is. Alongside, I serve the potato and mushroom gratin that follows and a lemony, crunchy green salad, (itals) et c'est tout. (unitals). This is not speedy-speedy in actual cooking time but it's fantastically helpful when you have people for supper since all it requires is about 10 minutes prep, and then you can lay the table, have a drink, put on lipstick while everything cooks happily by itself in a hot oven.
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