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Tom's Roasted Chicken With Wilted Salad Greens

Prep time 30 mins
Bake time 1 hr, 20 mins
Yield Makes 4 servings
Tom prefers the floral aroma and flavor of orange blossom honey, but any kind will work just fine.


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 6 pecan halves
  • 2 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 (4-pound) whole roasting chicken
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon slices
  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tomatoes, each cut into 6 slices
  • Wilted Salad Greens

How to Make It

  1. Process first 5 ingredients in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Set aside.

  2. Remove and discard giblets from chicken cavity; rinse with cold water, and pat dry. Squeeze juice from 1 lemon half evenly over chicken; rub well with squeezed half. Repeat procedure with remaining lemon half for inside cavity. Reserve lemon halves.

  3. Loosen and lift skin from chicken breasts with fingers; spread pecan mixture evenly underneath. Carefully replace skin. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper evenly on skin; rub into skin. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper inside cavity; rub into cavity. Place bacon slices evenly over skin of chicken breasts. Insert garlic cloves and reserved lemon halves in cavity of chicken. Place chicken, breast side up, in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet.

  4. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°, and bake 55 to 60 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into chicken thigh registers 175°. Remove from oven, and let stand at room temperature until thermometer registers 180°.

  5. Place 3 tomato slices in center of each of 4 large serving plates; top each evenly with Wilted Salad Greens. Cut chicken into pieces, cutting breasts into slices. Divide dark meat and breast meat evenly among servings, placing on top of greens on each plate; spoon about 1 tablespoon drippings from skillet over chicken on each plate.