It is very important that you use the best available chicken in the market, preferably organic, in order to get the best results. Roasted potatoes are a great side for this dish. Simply place raw potatoes underneath your chicken when roasting. They will be perfectly cooked when your chicken is ready.
Take the chicken out of the packaging and rinse it thoroughly under cold running water and pat dry. Place the chicken in the refrigerator and let it dry for at least 12 hours, or until the chicken skin is somewhat dry.
Take cheesecloth and form it into a small ball (a tennis ball size) tied up with butcher's string. Put the ball in a bowl with 2 teaspoons salt, the rosemary or thyme sprig, 1 marjoram sprig and the whole black peppercorns. Fill the bowl with water so that the water level is slightly above the cheesecloth ball and put it in the refrigerator for 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and make sure that it is completely dry. Rub the olive oil over the surface of the chicken and sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1 tablespoon salt. Loosen the skin over the breast and slide the remaining 2 sprigs marjoram under each side. Take the cheesecloth ball, squeeze out slightly the excess brine, and stick it into the chicken cavity along with the half lemon. Tie the legs together with butcher's twine. Place the chicken breast-side up on a baking rack and tuck the wings under the shoulders.
Place the chicken in the oven and roast until the skin dries up and the salt becomes white, 15 to 20 minutes. Increase the temperature by 25 degrees every 15 minutes until you reach 375 degrees F. Continue this process until the chicken is cooked. To check the chicken for doneness, insert a thermometer into the breast part below the wings and read the heat. If the chicken has reached 165 degrees F and the skin is somewhat crispy, shut down the oven and let it rest for another 10 minutes. If you like to have crispier skin, turn on your broiler for 2 to 3 minutes until the skin gets darker.
Cut the chicken into quarters and serve.
This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.
Recipe courtesy Thomas Odermatt, Roli Roti