For the Herb Butter
5 3-inch sprigs fresh thyme
1 3-inch sprig fresh rosemary
5 fresh sage leaves
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon honey
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the Chicken
6 shallots, peeled and halved
1 whole head garlic, clean, unpeeled and cut in half horizontally
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 chicken, 4 – 4 ½ pounds, cut into pieces (or 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts)
Herb butter (above)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
For the Sauce
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
How to make it:
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Make the herb butter: Pull herbs from the stems and chop finely. Combine the chopped herbs, shallots, lemon zest, honey and butter in small bowl and blend well. Set aside.
Place the shallots and garlic in a roasting pan and toss with the olive oil (it’s okay if the garlic breaks apart a bit). Pat the chicken VERY dry with paper towels (this will help the skin to crisp) and place in the roasting pan; do not crowd. Use a soup spoon to rub the herb butter all over the chicken and under the skin too (if you don’t eat the skin, rub a lot of it underneath!). Sprinkle the kosher salt evenly all over the chicken and season with fresh pepper to your liking. Place the chicken in the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown. Turn the heat down to 375 degrees; continue to roast for 15-20 minutes more, or until done. Chicken should be done in less than an hour; do not overcook.
Transfer the chicken and the shallots to serving platter to rest and cover with foil. Discard the garlic. Pour off all the fat, leaving the brown baked-on bits in the bottom of the roasting pan. Add the chicken broth and place on the stove over high heat; bring to a boil and whisk in Dijon mustard. Using whisk or wooden spoon, stir up and combine the brown bits with the broth and continue to cook until the liquid is reduced by half, 5-8 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter. Pour the sauce into a gravy boat and serve alongside chicken. (If you want to get fancy, you can strain the gravy but I never bother.)
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