I’m going to share with you–’cause that’s just the kind of girl I am–the little bit of Mascarpone Magic we made in Italy last week. This is for those times when you want the chicken to sing to you, to call you to the table in a hushed perfume of lemon, rosemary and creaminess. If you try telling yourself that the chicken doesn’t really need to be seared, yes it does. Sear the chicken. (on the bone with skin in either breasts or mixed parts.) The pan should be heavy and hot and the chicken dusted with a fine blanket of sea salt. Slick the pan with olive and lay the chicken pieces away from you without crowding the pan. Let them go over a medium flame so that they are talking, but not screaming from the assault of the heat. The color you are looking for is chestnut. Remove from the pan and cool slightly. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and for about 3 pounds of chicken, you are going to need 250 grams of mascarpone, about a half a twigs worth of rosemary, chopped finely, a tablespoon of flat leaf parsley, chopped, 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped, and the zest from half a lemon, with none of the pith. Stir it all together and taste for salt and freshly ground black pepper. Make neat little slices where the top of the skin meets the flesh, just to lift the skin and shove the mascarpone mixture underneath. Set in a sheetpan (jelly roll pan) and roast until when you stick a small sharp knife into the thickest part, it feels hot against your lip. (careful)
Serve with garlicky string beans and tiny roasted potatoes.