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Roasted Chicken with Salsa Verde

You didn't hear it from me, but when Liz and I started dating, she wasn't the greatest of cooks. She almost took me out twice --once with some not-so-fresh crayfish and the other time with some medium-rare chicken. Now she is a whiz in the kitchen and makes a mean roasted chicken. People will always say: Of course she can cook; she's married to a chef! (But as any husband knows, she would have to listen to me to learn from me!) Liz learned all on her own mainly because she is not afraid to make mistakes and will try anything. This is a great lesson for anyone who is learning to cook. You will definitely make mistakes along the way, but if you keep at it, eventually you'll figure it out. Just make sure not to take anyone out on the way!
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 10 hr 50 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 9 hr 35 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
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One 4-to 5-pound chicken

Kosher salt

1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded

2 fresh bay leaves

3 cloves garlic

1 small onion, peeled

1 small bunch fresh thyme

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups baby arugula

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Salsa Verde, recipe follows

Salsa Verde:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, rinsed and chopped

2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 salt-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced

1 clove garlic, minced

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (about 1 tablespoon)

1 shallot, minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. A day before cooking, rinse the chicken inside and out under cold water and pat dry. Salt liberally, cover and refrigerate.
  2. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 
  4. Lift the skin off each chicken breast and wedge 3 lemon slices and 1 bay leaf between the skin and each breast. Put the garlic, onion, thyme and remaining lemon slices in the cavity of the chicken. Rub the entire chicken liberally with the olive oil. Put the chicken in an ovenproof saute pan or roasting pan breast-side up, slide it into the oven and roast until the thigh reaches 160 degrees F, or until the cavity juices run clear, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to 20 minutes. 
  5. When ready to serve, in a medium bowl, dress the arugula with the red wine vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. Cut the chicken into 8 pieces, drizzle with the Salsa Verde and serve with the arugula salad.

Salsa Verde:

  1. Combine the extra-virgin olive oil, parsley, capers, mint, red pepper flakes, anchovies, garlic, lemon zest and juice, jalapeno and shallots in a bowl and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow the flavors to meld for at least 15 minutes before serving; if planning to serve after more than an hour, add the lemon juice at the last minute to keep the color vibrant.