Yields 4 to 6 servings

1 roasting chicken, with giblets

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lemon, halved

2 imported bay leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 450° F (230° C). Rinse the chicken and pat it dry all over with paper towels. Remove the giblets from the cavity of the chicken, generously salt and pepper the cavity, and return the giblets. Squeeze the lemon into the cavity, then add the lemon itself, pushing in each half gently.

2. Slip 1 bay leaf between the skin and the meat on each side of the breast, gradually working your fingers under the skin to gently loosen it so it doesn’t tear.

3. Truss the chicken and place it breast side up, on a rack if you like, in a large baking pan. Roast in the center of the oven until the bird is golden on the outside and the leg joint moves easily when you rotate it, about 1 hour.

4. Remove the chicken from the oven, and salt and pepper it generously all over. Flip the bird onto the breast side and let it rest, uncovered, for at least 15 minutes and as long as 30.

5. Carve the chicken and arrange it on a warmed serving platter. Cut the giblets into thin slices and arrange them on the platter. If a substantial amount of cooking juices remain in the baking pan, place it over medium heat and bring to a boil. Scrape up any browned bits, stir in ½ cup (125 ml) water, and pour the juice over the chicken.

Susan Herrmann Loomis teaches cooking classes in Normandy and Paris. www.onruetatin.com.

Find her cookbooks in the France Today Bookstore.

Originally published in the March 2012 issue of France Today