1 6-8 lb. roaster chicken
1 carrot cut into 2" chunks
1 celery stalk cut into 2" chunks
1 onion cut into quarters
1 Tbsp. butter softened
1 tsp. olive oil
4 garlic cloves 2 cracked, 2 minced
1 fresh bay leaf or 2 dried
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tsp. fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. rubbed sage
1/4 cup dry sherry (or dry white wine)
salt pepper to taste
Rinse chicken well inside and out let dry. Mix 2 minced garlic cloves with half of thyme parsley rosemary and sage. Mix softened butter with olive oil, add garlic and fresh herb mixture. Set aside. Season chicken cavity with salt and pepper. Place about half of the vegetables the bay leaf remaining herbs and 2 cracked garlic cloves in chicken cavity. Place remaining vegetables in bottom of baker. Set chicken on top of vegetables in baker. Loosen chicken skin by lightly inserting fingers under skin. Rub a small amount of butter/herb mixture lightly under loosened skin. Rub remaining butter mixture on outside of chicken. Season outside of chicken with salt and pepper. Pour sherry around chicken. Replace lid and put baker in cold oven. Set oven temperature to 425°F and cook for 2 hours. Remove lid of baker and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Chicken is done when meat thermometer inserted in thigh area reads 165°F.
Sherry sauce: Remove cooked chicken from baker and keep warm. Strain juices through sieve into saucepan pressing on solids. Bring to boil over medium heat. Mix 1 Tbsp. cornstarch with 1 Tbsp. water. Whisk to combine. Reduce heat to low whisk in cornstarch mixture. Simmer on low until thickened. Check seasoning adding salt or pepper if needed. Serve over chicken.
Note: This recipe can be made with 2 smaller chickens (3-4 lbs. each) dividing mixtures and vegetables between the chickens and placing side by side in larger clay bakers.