Roasted chicken is one of the easiest ways to please a family while filling hungry stomachs. The most wonderful thing about it is the aroma, which fills the house while you get to do other things because your work is already done (except for the carving).
1 large organic roasting chicken (or a few Cornish hens)
1 tablespoon large grain salt
2–3 cloves garlic
Lots of fresh thyme
A few bay leaves
A few peppercorns
Remove giblets from the chicken, setting aside the liver for future use. Pat chicken dry inside and out, and rub all over with a crushed clove of garlic, tossing the remaining garlic in the cavity along with a bay leaf or two and a few sprigs of thyme.
Slice truffle into thin slivers and carefully slip under the skin, reaching as far as you can along the breast and thighs. (This treatment is known in France as demi-deuil, or half mourning.) Avoid putting any truffle in the cavity itself, as this creates an unpleasant flavor.
Sprinkle the whole bird with coarse salt and sprigs of thyme, toss some salt and peppercorns in the cavity, and roast in a 400°F oven for an hour and a half, depending on the size of your bird.
To serve, carve bird after allowing to rest for 15 minutes or so, surround with the vegetables and top with the juices from the pan, into which you have stirred some freshly grated truffle.
Note: If you’d like an easy side of root vegetables for this dish, you can cut potatoes, carrots, parsnips, sunchokes into evenly sized chunks, toss them in olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh thyme, and arrange them under the bird as it cooks. Add about an inch of hot water after about a half hour (when the vegetables begin to crisp) so that they will steam to the finish. Meanwhile, the juices of the bird will run down over the vegetables and make them irresistibly delicious.