3 sprigs of thyme, chopped (about 1 tsp thyme leaves)
salt & pepper to taste
1 whole chicken between 4 to 5 lbs, giblet removed
4 smashed garlic cloves
2 sprigs of thyme
1/2 of a lemon, cut into half again
FOR THE SAUCE
2 cups shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil 2 butter
2 shallots, minced
1/3 cup red wine
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
1/2 chopped thyme leaves
1/4 cup cream
fresh ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
MAKE THE BUTTER: When the butter has softened, combine it with the other ingredients–2 cloves minced garlic, teaspoon of thyme leaves, salt and pepper to taste. It tends to be a bit hard to stir at first, but work at it vigorously with a sturdy spoon and it will soon be blended into a nice consistency with the ingredients well distributed.
PREP THE CHICKEN: have a large roasting pan ready. Rinse the chicken and pat dry, and place on a cutting board to do the prep.
Use your fingers to lift up the skin on the breast a bit. Take about 2 tbsp of butter and insert under the skin, rubbing into the breast meat.
Rub the remaining butter all over the skin, making sure the chicken is thoroughly coated. Insert the smashed garlic, lemon, 2 sprigs thyme and any remaining butter into the chicken cavity.
Place the chicken breast side up into a roasting pan, and roast for approximately 90 minutes. Ovens vary, so you’ll want to get a sense of whether you typically need a bit more or less time than recipes call for.
When the chicken is done roasting, place the chicken on a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes. Save that pan juice for the sauce.
MAKE THE SAUCE AS THE CHICKEN ROASTS: Start prepping the sauce ingredients after the chicken has roasted for about 45 minutes. Heat the olive oil on medium, and add the shallots. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms, stir occasionally. Cook for about 5 minutes until they start to get soft and begin to “sweat”.
Add the red wine and butter, stir to combine. Simmer for another 5 minutes or so to reduce the liquid by roughly half. After that, keep warm on low heat until the chicken is done roasting.
After you remove the cooked chicken from the roasting pan, pour up to 1 cup of the chicken roasting juices into the sauce.
Add the parsley, thyme and pepper after pouring in the pan juices. Simmer for about 10 minutes to reduce the liquid, stirring frequently.
SERVE: Slice a portion of the chicken and top with some of the sauce. Repeat for the remaining servings, and offer extra shiitake mushroom sauce at the table. Enjoy!