In the comments to the previous post, there was some discussion about how long it takes to roast a chicken. That conversation was pretty timely, as I roasted a chicken the night most of those comments came in. I got the recipe (and slightly adapted it) from Food and Wine magazine, and I gravitated toward it because a) it was roast chicken, and yum; b) it mentioned pairing it with a brut rose, which I had in the house and absolutely love; and c) it was under the category of “wonderful weeknight” or something like that, implying that it could be made fairly easily after a hard day at the office.
The meal turned out fabulously, but it ended up taking about two hours from start to finish, so I’m not sure I agree on the whole weeknight thing. But, I would definitely make the dish again. The bird was about three and a half pounds, and it turned out perfectly moist and flavorful (with a salty, crispy skin). I didn’t follow any specific recipe for the grits; rather, I just cooked up some quick grits in chicken stock and then added some shredded cheddar, salt, and pepper. For next time, I’ll cut the amount of onions just a bit, and I’ll double the amount of tomatoes–they were THAT GOOD.
Preheat the oven to 350°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Turn the tomatoes cut side down and scatter the rosemary around; bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until very soft and starting to brown. Let cool.
Meanwhile, in a roasting pan, rub the chicken all over with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Scatter the onion wedges around the chicken, drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken and onions in the upper third of the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Increase the oven temperature to 450°. Add the wine to the pan and roast the chicken for about 20 minutes longer, until the onions are well browned and the chicken is golden and the cavity juices run clear. Pour the cavity juices into the pan. Transfer the chicken and onions to a platter; let the chicken rest for 10 minutes.
Set the roasting pan over moderately high heat and add 4 of the tomato halves and 1/2 cup of water. Simmer, scraping up any browned bits and mashing the tomatoes, until reduced by one-third. Strain the jus into a saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Carve the chicken and serve with the tomatoes, onions, tomato jus and grits. As you can see, I also served with some greens (collard and brussels sprout greens, to be exact), which I merely sauteed in some olive oil and minced garlic.