The Dissolution of Icarus, or
Julia Child’s Favorite Roast Chicken Recipe
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Melt 1 tablespoon
of the butter in a skillet. Add the diced carrots, onion
and celery and cook over moderate heat until
softened. Stir in the herbs.
Wash the chicken rapidly inside and out with hot
water and pat thoroughly dry. For easier carving, cut
out and discard the wishbone. Pull the neck skin up
over the breast and secure it to the back with a
toothpick. Salt and pepper the cavity and spoon in
the cooked vegetables, a handful of parsley stems
and celery leaves and the lemon slices. Massage the
chicken all over with 1 tablespoon of the butter, then
truss it. Alternatively, tie the ends of the drumsticks
together and tuck the wings under the body.
Choose a flameproof roasting pan that is about 1
inch larger than the chicken. Salt the chicken all over
and set it breast up on a rack in the pan. (Thoroughly
wash all surfaces and utensils that have been in
contact with the raw chicken.)
Roast the chicken in the oven for about 1 hour and
15 minutes, as follows:
At 15 minutes Brush the chicken with the remaining
1/2 tablespoon of butter. Scatter the sliced onion and
carrot all around. Reduce the oven temperature to
At 45 minutes Brush the lemon juice over the
chicken. If necessary, add 1/2 cup of water to the
vegetables to prevent burning.
At 60 minutes Baste with the pan juices. Test for
doneness: The drumsticks should move easily in their
sockets; their flesh should feel somewhat soft. If not,
continue roasting, basting and testing every 7 to 8
minutes, until an instant-read thermometer registers
Spear the chicken through the shoulders; lift to drain;
if the last of the juices run clear yellow, the chicken is
done. Let rest on a carving board for 15 minutes;
discard the string.
Spoon all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the juices in
the pan. Add the stock and boil until lightly syrupy, 5
minutes. Strain; you will have just enough to bathe
each serving with a fragrant spoonful.
Michelle Muenzler, known at local science fiction and fantasy conventions as “The Cookie Lady”, writes things both dark and strange to counterbalance the sweetness of her baking. Her short fiction and poetry can be read in numerous science fiction and fantasy magazines, and she takes immense joy in crinkling words like little foil puppets. If you wish to lure her out of hiding, you can friend her on Facebook or chase her down at a local SF/F convention where she will ply you with hundreds of home-baked cookies while gleefully describing the latest horror she’s written. For more information (and links to her squidgily humorous and weirdly horrific novella “The Hills of Meat, the Forest of Bone”), check out michellemuenzler.com.