Julie Child's Herb, Lemon, and Garlic Roast Chicken with Watercress
- 2 lemons, halved, juiced and halves reserved
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed, unpeeled
- salt and fresh ground black pepper as needed
- 4-5 lb whole chicken
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
- 2 tbsp walnut or hazelnut oil
- 2 bunch watercress, stemmed, washed and dried
In a large mixing bowl, add the lemons and juice, thyme, rosemary, garlic, black pepper, and salt. Whisk together and add the chicken to the bowl. Turn the chicken to coat on all sides. Fill the cavity with the contents on the bowl, and tie the legs together with a piece of string.
Choose a heavy-duty 9 x 13-inch metal or flame-proof glass baking dish, and add the onions to the bottom. Place the chicken in the baking dish, and pour over the rest of the liquid. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil, and season generously with salt, and place in a preheated 400 degrees F. oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until an internal temp of 165 degrees F.
Remove the chicken to a plate and cover with foil again while you make the sauce. Add the chicken stock to the baking dish and scrap the bottom of the pan to deglaze any of the caramelized juices. Strain the liquid into a bowl, add the walnut or hazelnut oil and whisk to combine. Pour any juices that have collected on the plate under the chicken. Taste for salt and fresh ground black pepper, and adjust.
To serve, toss the watercress in a large bowl with half the hot sauce to wilt it very slightly. Divide the greens on plates. Cut the chicken into serving pieces and top the watercress. Spooning over the remaining sauce.