This recipe is very similar to one my mother often cooked when I was growing up; now it's a staple of my weeknight dinner repertoire. Vary the herbs as you like, but stick to the hardy ones—thyme, rosemary, sage, and oregano. They'll roast without burning and have a stronger flavor.
Heat the oven to 425°F. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Cut away any excess fat and tuck the wings behind each breast.
Put the butter into a large, shallow baking pan (the 10-1/2x15-1/2-inch Pyrex pan is ideal for this). Put the pan into the oven while it's heating. When the butter is melted (about 10 minutes), remove the pan and set it on a heatproof surface or on a couple of potholders. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme, and rosemary, and swirl the pan to coat the ingredients in the butter.
Dredge the chicken, skin side down, in the butter and herb mixture, and arrange, skin side up, in the pan. Sprinkle the chicken generously with the salt and pepper. Bake until the chicken is browned and cooked through, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve with the shallots and garlic along with a drizzle of the pan drippings.
nutrition information (per serving):
35, Fat Calories
310, Saturated Fat
53, Monounsaturated Fat
5, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Ben Fink