When Tim Goodell cooks this chicken for himself, he uses the chicken fat from the roasting pan in place of the olive oil in the tomato vinaigrette, which makes it delightfully rich. Amazing Chicken Recipes
Preheat the oven to 375°. Season the chicken cavities generously with salt and pepper. Tuck a lemon half, 2 shallots, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 bunch of tarragon and 2 thyme sprigs into each chicken cavity. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Set the chickens in a large roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet. Rub the chickens all over with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with the herbes de Provence, salt and pepper.
2. Roast the chickens in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the water to the roasting pan and roast the chickens for about 50 minutes longer, basting them occasionally with the pan juices; rotate the roasting pan as necessary to cook the birds evenly. The chickens are done when the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced with a knife or when an instant-read thermometer inserted in one of the thighs registers 165°.
Preheat the broiler. Broil the chickens for about 5 minutes, rotating the roasting pan, until their skin is golden and crisp. Transfer the chickens to a large cutting board.
Pour any pan juices into a small saucepan and skim off the fat. Set the roasting pan over 2 burners, add the remaining 1/2 cup of water and simmer over moderate heat, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the liquid to the pan juices in the saucepan and boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Keep the pan juices warm.
Peel 12 of the oven-dried tomato halves and coarsely chop them. In a medium bowl, mix the tomatoes with the Dijon and whole grain mustards, vinegar, honey, warm pan juices and the remaining 1 tablespoon of chopped tarragon. Whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and season the vinaigrette with Tabasco, salt and pepper.
Spoon half of the oven-dried tomato vinaigrette onto a large platter. Quarter each of the chickens and arrange the pieces on the platter. Arrange the 12 remaining oven-dried tomato halves around the chicken and serve right away, passing the remaining tomato vinaigrette at the table.
A lively, fruity Beaujolais is a traditional accompaniment to roast chicken, but the rich and tangy dried-tomato vinaigrette here suggests a deeper, more flavorful cru bottling.