Roasting a chicken never gets old. Simply seasoned with salt or vamped up with truffles stuffed into its gut, as long as the skin is crisp and the meat juicy, roast chicken is something I’ll always devour right down to the bones.

This roast chicken falls in the vast middle ground between simply salted and truffle stuffed. The recipe is not at all complicated, and doesn’t call for any rarefied ingredients. But the rhubarb glaze makes it special: pink-hued, lightly spiced, tangy-sweet and perfect for spring.

Its pinkness comes from lipstick-red rhubarb, the kind so saturated that it retains a rosy blush even when roasted. Not that the color is at all integral to the flavor of the dish — pinkish is not tastier than greenish. But it is prettier.

Be they green or red, plump, taut rhubarb stalks, with minimal brown spots stippling the skin, are what you’re looking for; this signifies freshness. The fresher they are, the snappier-tasting, too.

Sliced, spiced with coriander and ginger, and sprinkled with sugar, the rhubarb is roasted in the same oven as the chicken, but in a separate dish. As it cooks, it turns soft and syrupy, but never cloying, thanks to its own brisk acidity and some lemons. Tart and just sweet enough, some of the rhubarb mixture is brushed over the roasting chicken, where the sugar helps bronze its skin. Then the rest collapses into a chutney-like condiment to serve alongside the bird.

There’s one more component to this dish, and that’s the crisp red onions. Unlike the rhubarb, which maintains some distance from the chicken by roasting in its own pan, the onions are scattered right next to the bird so they can absorb all of its gingery, garlicky rendering fat. The fat is what makes the onions crunchy. Just make sure not to slice them too thinly. You want them to crisp and brown as they roast, not blacken and burn. Assuming you’re not going to fish out a ruler to make dinner (I never do), err on the generous side of a quarter-inch thick when you’re eyeballing it.

Then for serving, I like to plop chicken, onions and rhubarb into a bowl of buttery polenta to catch all the juices. But a plate and a ripped-up baguette will work just as well.

Yield: 4 servings

For the chicken:

2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

3/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 large garlic clove, grated or minced

1 (3 1/2- to 4 1/2-pound) chicken, patted dry

3 thyme sprigs, plus more for garnish

1 medium red onion, halved and sliced 1/4-inch thick

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

For the rhubarb:

Kosher salt, as needed

1/2 lemon

1 pound rhubarb, sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 (2-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

3 thyme sprigs

1. In a small bowl, combine salt, ground coriander, lemon zest, ginger, pepper and garlic. Rub it all over chicken, including inside the cavity and under the skin. Stuff thyme sprigs into cavity.

2. Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet, and marinate, uncovered, in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or preferably overnight.

3. Prepare the rhubarb: Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Thinly slice the lemon into 1/8-inch rounds. Remove any seeds. Quarter lemon rounds into triangles. Blanch lemon pieces in boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain.

4. In a 9-by-9-inch baking dish or a pie pan, toss together blanched lemons, rhubarb, sugar, ginger, coriander seeds, a pinch of salt and thyme sprigs. Let fruit macerate at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour. (You can do this while the chicken is marinating.)

5. When ready to roast, arrange an oven rack in the center of oven and another one below. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Toss onions in medium mixing bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt, and set aside.

6. Generously drizzle olive oil over chicken. Roast chicken on the center rack and rhubarb below for 20 to 25 minutes, until rhubarb is glazed and syrupy.

7. Remove rhubarb and lower oven temperature to 400 degrees. Brush or spoon some of the rhubarb syrup all over chicken. Scatter red onion pieces around chicken on baking sheet, then continue to roast until skin is golden and cooked through and onions are browned, about 25 to 35 minutes longer.

8. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes. Carve and serve with onions, rhubarb and more thyme for garnish.

New York Times

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