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- One (3 1/2 – 4-pound) chicken
- 1 small lemon
- 6 leaves fresh basil
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 whole onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tbsp butter
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Rinse the chicken in cold water and use paper towels to pat it dry.
- Slice six very thin slices of lemon and put the rest inside the cavity of the chicken, along with the stems from the basil.
- Lay out the basil leaves. On each one put a slice of lemon and a slice of garlic.
- Generously season the chicken with the salt, pepper, and paprika.
- Use your hands to really massage it all over the chicken (Don’t wipe your hands yet).
- Place the chicken in front of you so that the neck is pointing away and you are looking at the cavity end of it.
- With your index finger loosen the skin away from the chicken meat over the breast (enter right above the cavity where the skin and meat come together). Do the same to the other side. Once you have loosened the skin on each side, pick up the basil leaves, one at a time and place three on each side under the skin: one toward the neck, one toward the rear on top of the breast, and one under the skin where the leg and breast meet.
- Try to get as much excess seasoning on your hands as you do this to work some under the skin. Now you may wash your hands off.
- Arrange the sliced onions in one layer on a roasting pan.
- Place the chicken breast side-up on top of the onions and drizzle the olive oil over the top of the chicken. (Having the chicken elevated slightly helps the chicken cook more evenly and the oil on top helps the skin to color evenly).
- Place the chicken in the oven and cook for 35 minutes. If the skin has not colored nicely after 35 minutes, raise the heat to 425°F and let it cook an additional 10 – 15 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the oven, transfer to a plate, cover with foil, and let it rest for 15 – 20 minutes; this will allow all the juices to settle.
- While the chicken is resting, make the jus from the roasting pan. Start by pouring the grease into a bowl. Place the roasting pan with the onions still in it over a medium-high heat.
- Pour in the white wine and gently scrape the bits off the pan. When the wine has reduced by half, pour the onion and wine mixture into a smaller saucepan and add the chicken stock.
- Let this simmer for 5 minutes or until it reduces by one-third, and then pour the pan drippings back into the sauce with the butter; stir and keep warm.