Servings: 4 servings
1 (3-½-pound) whole chicken
1 tablespoon kosher salt (or regular salt)
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoons ground fennel
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon black pepper, freshly cracked
4 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1½ pounds cherries, freshly pitted
½ teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chicken stock
In a mortar and pestle, grind the black peppercorns. Add ground coriander, ground fennel, cayenne pepper, paprika and 3 tablespoons of butter. Mix until well combined.
Coarsely chop and gather 1 cup of cherries with their juice.
Clean the chicken thoroughly. Crack every part with bones so the chicken can be easily flattened. Remove the fat chunks near the bottom of the chicken. Leave the skin on. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.
Season the chicken with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Mix the garlic, chopped cherries and baking soda; be sure they're well incorporated. Place the whole chicken on a large tray. Wearing gloves, carefully separate the skin from the flesh without tearing it. Spread all the mixture under the skin, in the cavity and on the outside of the bird. Rub evenly. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. You can marinate the bird up to 2 nights.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes ahead of time to bring it back to room temperature before placing in the oven.
Make sure the inside of the cavity is filled with marinade.
Brush a non-stick basket pan and the rotisserie rod with oil. Place a few cherries in the basket. If your oven allows it, thread the chicken onto the rotisserie rod. Sprinkle with more salt. Secure the chicken to the rod. Place the rod to the rotisserie motor in the oven and attach the rod.
Note: if you don't have a rotisserie option in your oven, simply place celery stalks and carrots on the bottom of a roaster and top with the chicken.
Roast for 40 minutes. Open the oven and baste the bird with the drippings from the pan. Increase the temperature to 400°F and roast for 10 more minutes to brown the chicken.
Remove the rotisserie rod from the oven and place the chicken on a large tray. Loosely cover with foil (don't entirely wrap it or the skin won't be crispy). Let it rest for at least 10 minutes.
A thermometer should register 170°F in the thickest part of the bird or the juice should run clear when you crack around the thighs.
Reserve the drippings at the bottom of the basket, discarding as much oil (fat) and cherries as possible and transfer to a small saucepan. Add the remaining cherries. Bring to a boil, then poach them for 6-8 minutes. Remove the rod, transfer to a cutting board and carve the meat. Dress the chicken on a serving platter. Garnish with curly parsley and the poached cherries and sauce on the side.
Serve with roasted bell pepper salad and gratin dauphinois (recipe available in my first cookbook, Haute Potato).