- 1 chicken, whole 3 to 3 1/2-pound
- salt and black pepper, Kosher freshly ground
- 6 sprigs thyme, fresh
- 2 lemons, each cut into 8 wedges
- 12 bacon
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 500°F.
Season the outside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Fill the cavity with the thyme sprigs and lemon wedges. With the cavity of the chicken facing you, put one end of a bacon slice squarely over the left thigh then run it over the breast meat and finish by covering the right thigh. Repeat with 9 more strips of bacon, slightly overlapping them, so the thighs and all of the breast meat are covered. Wrap one strip, slightly overlapping, around each drumstick.
Transfer the chicken to a shallow baking pan fitted with a roasting rack and put it in the center of the oven. Roast for 20 minutes, and then lower the oven temperature to 350°F. Cook until the juices run clear or the internal temperature reaches 160°F, another 40 to 50 minutes. Remove the chicken form the oven and allow it to rest for 15 minutes before carving. The bacon should form a hard shell over the breast meat. Use a sharp knife when carving so the bacon stays on top of the white meat.
Make a sauce by pouring the juices from inside the cavity (along with the thyme and lemon wedges) into the roasting pan. Put the pan over the medium heat and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the mustard, add 2 tablespoons of water, and simmer for 2-3 minutes to allow the sauce to come together. Strain, pressing down on the lemon wedges to get the juice into the sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning. Discard the lemon wedges. Serve immediately.
Excerpt from "The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart" by Alex Guarnaschelli. Copyright © 2017 by Alex Guarnaschelli. Used with permission by Clarkson Potter. All rights reserved.