Roast Chicken a la Florio

Here is my interpretation of the amazing chicken dish at Florio on Fillmore St. in San Francisco. If you want, you can put the chicken in a brine of 2 qt. water, 2 cups orange juice, a bouquet garni of rosemary, thyme, and parsley, 1/2 cup salt, 1 lemon (halved and squeezed) , 2 bayleaves, and 1 tsp. black peppercorns overnight before cooking.


  • 3½ – 4 lb. chicken
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 Tbs. butter
  • 1½ to 2 lbs. small Yukon gold potatoes
  • 3/4 cup white wine (or chicken stock)

Place the chicken in a roasting pan; with a kitchen knife, mash the garlic with the salt then mix in the butter. Spread this garlic mixture inside and outside the chicken and sprinkle with pepper. Put the chicken in the pan in a 500 degree oven to roast for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, while the chicken is cooking, put the potatoes in medium saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Add salt and let boil until they are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain.

When the chicken is cooked remove from the oven and let cool. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, pour off the excess fat, deglaze the pan with the wine and toss the potatoes into the chicken juices. Cut the chicken into four, six, or eight pieces (according to my video).

Place the potatoes on warmed plates with the chicken on top and taste and spoon over the juices. Serve with a green vegetable if desired, or over a bed of greens.  Serves 4 to 6 MSR

Note: at Florio, they split the chicken and remove the breast bone before searing skin-side down in a very hot pan on top of the stove, and then it is finished in a hot oven. Brilliant!