When Adam Roberts visited the Baltimore Book Festival a few weeks ago, he told us about the simplest way to make a gorgeous and delicious chicken: roast it with a bunch of thyme stuffed in the cavity, rubbed with 1 T each salt, fresh ground black pepper, cayenne and fennel seed, and then roast it in a 400°F oven for an hour with halved baby potatoes, served with a side of frozen peas cooked for 5 minutes in a saucepan with 1 T butter and a few chopped cloves of lightly sautéed garlic. You can read the fully mapped out recipe not just at Adam's blog but also at Strawberries in Paris.
Well I made it tonight, and it's going to last me all week. I really think I won't have to do any grocery shopping next week either, if I freeze some of the chicken and eat it then!
A few things I changed, mostly out of necessity: since I had no thyme, but I did have fresh sage, I stuffed that inside the bird instead. Also, I didn't have enough baby red potatoes, so I cut up a few sweet potatoes that I had instead to make up the difference. And when in need of fennel seed, anise seed works in a pinch. As for the peas, I added half a shallot. Wonderful stuff. Adam, you have restored my faith in chicken.