The chickens I get from the Good Farm — Cornish rock cross hens — are so flavorful you don’t have to do anything more than salt them and roast them. But when I have the time I prefer to do the salting the night before, both on and under the skin. I find this makes the roasted bird extra crispy.
Recipe Courtesy Little, Brown and Company. Recipe from the Beetlebung Farm cookbook.
A day before you plan to serve the chicken, separate the skin from the meat by gently running your fingers between the two. Slice 2 of the shiitake to roast with the chicken later. Mix
about 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper together. Using your fingers, rub the salt mixture into the chicken, underneath the skin. Distribute the thinly sliced shiitakes under the skin
over each breast. Put the chicken on a plate and season all over and inside the cavity with salt and pepper. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator an hour before cooking to allow it to come up to temperature a bit. Heat the oven to 450°F.
Chop the reserved mushroom stems and put them in the chicken’s cavity. Heat a skim of oil, about 2 tablespoons, over high heat in an ovenproof skillet big enough to hold the chicken pretty snugly. Put the chicken in the pan, breast-side up. Cook for 30 seconds, then take the chicken off the heat and baste it with the hot pan juices. Put the chicken in the oven and roast, basting every 10 minutes, for 30 minutes.
Thickly slice the remaining mushrooms and add them to the roasting pan. Roast together until the chicken juices run clear when the thigh is pricked, about 15 minutes longer, then let the chicken rest in the pan for 15 minutes. Put the arugula in a bowl, season lightly with salt, and dress with lemon juice and 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil (it is also nice to add a tablespoon of
the pan juices to the salad). Toss thoroughly. Carve the chicken and serve with the roasted mushrooms on top of the arugula salad.