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.
In a small frying pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until it's crisp and the pan full of gorgeous bacony fat, about 4 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, the bacon out of the pan and straight into the cavity of the chicken, sitting the chicken breast side up in a roasting pan as you do so. Pour the brandy into the still hot frying pan and let bubble for a minute. Pour the brandy mixture over the chicken. Place the roasting pan into the hot oven and roast for 45 minutes, making sure juices run clear between leg and body. Let rest 10 minutes before carving.
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