dry white wine
low-sodium chicken broth
chopped fresh herbs (such as flat-leaf parsley, chives, and basil)
3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, giblets removed
olive or vegetable oil
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 450° F. Place a rack in a large ovenproof skillet or small roasting pan. Pat the chicken dry and place it in the pan. Tuck the wings beneath the chicken, as if it were placing its arms behind its head. Rub the oil over the skin. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Toss 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining salt into the cavity.
- Roast for 20 minutes. Add 1 cup water and roast until the chicken is cooked through and the thigh meat registers 165° F on a meat thermometer, about 40 minutes more.
- Use a spatula to loosen the chicken. With a wad of paper towels in each hand, transfer the bird to a cutting board. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.
- Place the pan containing the drippings over medium heat. Simmer until the liquid reduces by half. Add the wine and broth and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the cream. Remove from heat. Strain the sauce, if desired. Stir in the herbs, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the carved chicken.