In 1999, my husband was invited to a Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce soiree featuring then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

I was his plus-one.

We mingled at a very nice reception, had a very nice dinner, then listened to a very nice speech by the new governor.

Afterward, a journalist friend of mine turned to the business editor of one of the region’s daily newspapers.

“What did you think of the speech?” he asked her.

“Oh, you know,” she said, disdain dripping. “A chicken for every pot.”

Color me naive, but I think a chicken for every pot is a pretty nice aspiration. So is a chicken for every platter. And a chicken for every plate.

I thought of that encounter last night as I was wrangling a chicken for our dinner. Is there any meal more versatile? Any meat you can mix and match the way you do a chicken?

I was going to roast ours with lemon and olive oil when I remembered a recipe from Lynne Rosetto Kasper that I made throughout Jeb Bush’s gubernatorial service. You mince a bunch of herbs with onion, garlic and balsamic vinegar, then stuff the mixture under the chicken’s skin. After roasting in a hot oven with a drizzle of wine, your chicken emerges burnished and succulent. I served ours over a bed of fresh spinach, chard and kale from our garden.

It wasn’t exactly a chicken in a pot.

But it fed the family fine.

Balsamic Chicken On A Platter (adapted from Lynne Rosetto Kasper)

  • 1 3- to 4-pound chicken
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1/4 of an onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 kale leaf
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the backbone of the chicken and flatten it on a work surface. (For detailed instructions on how to do this, click here.)

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Finely chop the bacon, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, thyme and kale. Place in a small bowl, then stir in the balsamic vinegar and the olive oil.

Loosen the skin from the chicken. Using your fingers, place the bacon-herb mixture under the chicken’s skin. Rub any leftover mixture on top of the bird.

Place the chicken in a greased casserole dish and roast for 20 minutes.

Pour 1/2 cup of white wine around the chicken and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer reads 160 degrees when placed in the chicken’s breast. (This will take an additional 40-50 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken.)

Remove from the oven and allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes.

Serve over fresh greens.

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