This recipe comes by way of Nigella Lawson when she used to be a regular contributor to The New York Times. I loved her stories, and her recipes were quick and good. Since then, she has become a famous cookbook writer, a Food Network star and a favorite of Bruce’s in her little cashmere sweater sets (if you know what I mean). This is a great way to make chicken (if you’re anything like our family you’re sick to death of plain old chicken)—you marinate it overnight, so it’s ready to just pop in the oven when you get home the following evening. I’d appreciate trying anything you make that turns ordinary chicken extraordinary…or is a make-ahead dish.
1 4-lb. chicken
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup plus 2 T vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
1 T crushed black peppercorns
1 T Maldon or other sea salt
2 T fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
1 T honey
Butterfly chicken by placing breast side down and using a heavy-duty kitchen shears to cut along both sides of backbone. Discard backbone, turn chicken over and open it like a book. Press gently to flatten it.
Place chicken in a large freezer bag. Add buttermilk, 1/4 cup oil, garlic, peppercorns, salt, rosemary, and honey. Seal bag securely and refrigerate overnight or up to two days.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove chicken from marinade and place on a rack so excess can drip off. Line a roasting pan with foil and place chicken in pan. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Roast for 45 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees. Continue roasting until well browned and until juices run clear when chicken is pierced where leg joins thigh, about another 20 minutes.
Place chicken on a carving board and allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting into serving pieces. Place a portion on each of four plates, and drizzle each serving with pan juices.