Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
6 servings (serving size: 3 ounces chicken, about 1/4 cup pear mixture, and 4 teaspoons sauce)

The earthy flavor of walnuts complements the sweet and savory notes in this stunning roast chicken. To impress guests, present the whole bird surrounded by the roasted pear mixture on a platter before carving. Heat can diminish the flavor of delicate walnut oil, so we add it to the sauce after the pan is removed from the burner. For best results, start with firm pears.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 425°.

Step 2

Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Place 2 crushed garlic cloves, rosemary sprigs, and lemon in body cavity. Combine chopped rosemary, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and olive oil. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Rub oil mixture under skin. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Tie legs together with twine. Place chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan.

Step 3

Bake at 425° for 25 minutes. Arrange shallots and pears around chicken. Add broth to pan; baste chicken. Bake 30 minutes. Stir pears and shallots; baste chicken. Add walnuts to pan. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the meaty part of thigh registers 165°. Let stand 20 minutes.

Step 4

Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour drippings from pan into bag; add 1/2 cup water. Let stand 2 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into measuring cup, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard remaining fat. Return drippings to pan, and cook over medium heat, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, vinegar, honey, juice, and 1 minced garlic clove; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 4 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in walnut oil.

Step 5

Remove skin from chicken; discard skin. Carve chicken; arrange chicken and pear mixture on a platter. Serve with sauce.

Ratings & Reviews

MotorcycleCook's Review

July 02, 2012
This was really good. I really liked the sauce with the pears & walnuts. It was a surprisingly good combination. My husband did not like the pears. They were too firm for his liking. He also did not like the walnuts either. The chicken was tender & juicy. I did add more chicken broth to the pan than called for to ensure I had enough sauce, I also added a little Wondra to thicken it just a tad. I served it with Garlic Broccolini & mashed potatoes.

ViennaVAfoodie's Review

November 20, 2011
So moist and tasty!! This was my first time roasting a chicken, so I was a bit worried about the results. I didn't end up with enough drippings to make gravy, so I just added the remaining ingredients to the pan and reduced to make a "glaze" or "drizzle". I loved the roasted shallots and pears with this, definitely great winter comfort food!

JennySmith's Review

November 26, 2010
This was a very good chicken recipe, and the gravy that it produced was tasty, along with the pears. This recipe is not hard at all...only really gets complicated until the end when preparing the gravy. I served it with green beans, salad and rolls.

MichelleS's Review

November 11, 2008
This was the best dinner I have made in a long time. I could eat this every night. Instead of using a whole chicken, I bought a bone in skin on breast and proceeded with the recipe as written since I was only cooking for myself. The pears were delicous warm and the final sauce at the end was amazing. I made parmesan mashed potatoes as a side dish and a small salad. Wow, I cannot say enough about how good this recipe is!

jenringo's Review

November 27, 2011
The chicken was great, the pears and walnuts was not great for me, but my husband loved it.

gunnercade's Review

January 24, 2010
This is a nice recipe. The chicken is tasty and moist, but we thought it lacked a little 'pizazz', so I added a canned chipotle pepper in the gravy. With added bite, it's really good.

EllenDeller's Review

October 04, 2010
Fabulous. The best roast chicken I've ever tasted--the kind of meal you'd pay $65 (or more) for in a restaurant. I followed the recipe exactly, and it was perfect. A good recipe for days you don't mind puttering in the kitchen--definitely a hands-on kind of recipe with lots of dishes to wash, but so worth it. Served with the roasted beet and walnut salad and baked sweet potatoes.

bethkeys's Review

May 22, 2011
A bit tricky for a novice but simply the best chicken dish I have ever had.

ETHicks's Review

December 01, 2008
I am still a novice cook and I wanted to try roasting a chicken for the first time. This was a success! It was super tender and had great flavor. I agree with other reviews that it is somewhat time intensive and not a weeknight meal. But it would be wonderful for company or special occasion. I didn't have walnut oil and I subbed White Wine Vinegar for Champagne Vinegar, and it tasted great to me. The sauce was a bit strong (maybe I didn't let it reduce long enough), but poured over rice and chicken, it faded a bit.

deerex's Review

October 31, 2011
This recipe was fantastic - one of, if not the best roasted chicken recipes I've tried. The white meat was moist and flavorful; the pears, shallots and walnuts a wonderful accompaniment, as was the gravy. I served it with brandied mashed sweet potatoes and green beans. My husband and I both agreed with a previous reviewer that this is a truly a restaurant calibre meal that I could proudly serve to guests.