If you live near an organic chicken farm, it’s a great idea to take advantage of the fresh poultry — you’ll really taste the difference. We ordered ours from Iacono Farm in East Hampton, but check local listings for a farm closest to you.
This recipe is very simple to make, and comes out beautifully every time. Keep in mind that this roasted chicken takes a minimum of two days: the secret to its juiciness is seasoning the bird overnight, and drying it twice thoroughly.
1 to 3 days before serving:
Rinse the chicken and pat very dry inside and out (moisture will steam in the oven, and dry out the chicken). Slice a small hole inside the chicken skin on each breast, and insert a sprig of rosemary into each. Repeat on each thigh. Season the chicken liberally all over with salt and pepper, both inside and out. Twist and tuck the wing tips behind the shoulders. Cover loosely with foil and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Choose a 10-inch skillet with an all-metal handle. Preheat the skillet over medium heat. Wipe the chicken dry again, and set it breast side up in the pan. It should sizzle.
Place the skillet in in the center of the oven and watch for it to start browning within 20 minutes. If it doesn’t, raise the temperature by 50 degrees increments until it does. The skin should blister, but if the chicken begins to char, reduce temperature by 25 degrees. After 30 minutes, turn the bird over. Roast for another 10 to 20 minutes, depending on size, then flip over to re-crisp the breast skin, another 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the oven and turn off the heat. The meat will become more tender and moist as it cools.