Pete’s Roast Chicken
Serve with Bethel Heights’ Justice Vineyard Pinot Noir.
When we first moved to Salem to begin a life of growing grapes and making wine, Pete’s was a great fish and poultry store, now closed.
Here is a recipe I jotted down on a scrap of paper, direct from Pete, and it is still an important basic in my culinary lineup. Enjoy!
- 1 Free-range local chicken
- 2 Lemons
- Fresh rosemary
- Sea salt
- With a mortar and pestle, make a paste of zest from lemons, sea salt, and minced rosemary.
Rinse and dry chicken, inside and out. Air dry, uncovered, in the refrigerator for several hours if
you have time.
When ready to bake, slather the bird with olive oil, and then spread on the paste, being generous
on the thighs and legs.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. If you have convection, use it. Position oven rack in lower third,
and plan to use a baking dish and a V-shaped rack.
Hint: Oil the V-shaped rack. Place chicken on one side for 30 minutes; then carefully turn the bird
on the other side for an additional 30 minutes. Finish with bird breast up for an additional 40 – 45
minutes. The turning is a bit messy, but worth it in terms of even cooking. Internal temperature on dark
meat should register 170 on an instant-read thermometer.
A nice side dish would be blanched asparagus, combined with leeks and prosciutto sautéed in olive oil
and a bit of butter.