A Brace of Herb-Roasted Chickens

A Brace of Herb-Roasted Chickens

Notes: To make your own poultry rub, mix 1-1/2 teaspoons each dried thyme and dried oregano with 1 teaspoon each garlic powder, kosher or sea salt, and coarse-ground pepper. For adult tastes, spread a layer of goat cheese beneath the breast skin.

2 chickens (3 1/2 to 4 lb. each)
2 tablespoons packaged poultry rub (or make you own; see notes)
1 onion (6 oz.), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 lemon, ends sliced off, cut into 1-inch chunks
4 parsley sprigs
10 ounce fresh chèvre (goat) cheese or 2 packages (5 oz. each) Boursin cheese (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Reserve chicken giblets for other uses. Pull off and discard lumps of fat
    from chickens. Rinse birds inside and out and pat dry. 2. Sprinkle 1/2
    teaspoon poultry rub in each bird’s body cavity. Place 1/2 the onion, lemon,
    and parsley in each chicken. Pin body cavities shut with small metal

  2. If using cheese, starting at the neck, gently push your fingers under
    skin of each breast to loosen skin. Spread 5 ounces cheese under skin of
    each chicken, pressing to form an even layer over breast.

  3. Rub skin of each chicken all over with 1/2 the oil and 1/2 the remaining
    poultry rub. Set chickens, breasts up, at least 2 inches apart on a rack in
    an 11- by 17-inch roasting pan.

  4. Roast in a 400° oven until a thermometer inserted through thickest part
    of thigh to joint registers 175°, about 65 minutes (about 55 minutes in a
    convection oven).

  5. Using pot holders to protect your hands, tilt chickens to drain juices
    into pan. Set chickens on a platter and let rest in a warm place 10 to 15
    minutes. Stir pan juices to release browned bits; skim and discard fat, and
    pour drippings into a small bowl. Carve chicken and serve with juices.

Yield Makes 8 to 10 servings