29 Days 'Til 40 (Elle's Rosemary Chicken)

This will be the second time I'm posting this recipe. The original one was on my old blog, an ugly and disorganized collection of my various aspirations and ambitions. About a year ago, I left it for the user-friendly world of Blogger and never looked back. 

I've made this chicken hundreds of times because it's easy and offers something for everyone in my family. But I named it after my sister Elle because she requested it for a family Sunday dinner many moons ago. And in my book, if you ask me to make you something and describe it in detail with a reverent tone in your voice, then of course I'll make it. Heck, I'll even name it after you.

Today was another one spent with a sick kid. Masana nearly cried when I told her she had to stay home from school, but after a visit to the doctor revealed an ear infection and an eye infection she had no other choice. I opened the windows in her room to let in some fresh air, but all she did was close them when I walked away. Friggin' kids...

Let's hope the weekend provides a respite from these monotonous, sickly days. 

1 whole roasting chicken, about 5 lbs 
1 cup sea salt, whole crystals 
1 cup olive oil 
1 bottle of stout beer 
5 cloves of garlic, crushed 
4 stalks of fresh rosemary 
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves 
1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves 
1 teaspoon ground black pepper 
1 teaspoon sea salt, fine crystals 
3 russet potatoes 
2 sweet potatoes 
2 cups of chicken broth or water 

1. Remove giblets from inside the chicken. Rinse chicken while rubbing skin and inner cavity with sea salt (whole crystals). Place chicken in a large colander to drain excess water.
2. Place chicken on a cutting board and carefully remove the backbone. With a sharp knife, crack the breastplate so that the chicken lies flat on the cutting board. Set aside.

3. In a large re-sealable plastic gallon bag, place the olive oil, beer, garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage, black pepper, and sea salt. Place the chicken in the bag and seal it. Be sure to remove as much air as possible in the bag. Gently shake the bag to mix all the ingredients. Place the bag inside the fridge over night, or at least 7 hours.

4. When you are ready to cook the chicken, take it out of the fridge 1 hour before putting it in the oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and cut the russet and sweet potatoes, then scatter them at the bottom of a roasting pan. Remove chicken from the bag and place in a colander in the sink to drain excess liquid. Set aside liquid inside the bag.

5. Place the chicken on top of the potatoes with the sides opened. The inner cavity should touch the top of the potatoes. Take the liquid in the bag and pour it over the potatoes and chicken. Pour the 2 cups of chicken broth over the potatoes along the outer edges. Place in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.

6. Increase the temperature in the oven to 450 degrees and cook for 5 more minutes, or until you get a nice crunchy brown top on the potatoes and chicken skin. Remove from the oven, place a piece of foil on top, and let it stand for ten minutes before serving.