1 whole fryer chicken
1/4 cup butter, softened
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 large onion, quartered
1/2 cup port or sherry wine
2 tablespoons sugar
8 large peaches, halved, pitted
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons brandy
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove and discard gizzards from the chicken and cut off excess fat. Wash the inside and outside of the chicken and pat dry. Rub the inside of the chicken with 2 tablespoons of the butter and then sprinkle the inside and outside with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a baking pan, breast-side down, with the onion and roast for one hour. Remove the pan from the oven and pour off most of the fat or use a turkey baster to suction most of the fat out. Pour the port or sherry wine over the chicken. Lower the heat to 325 degrees F. and roast, basting occasionally, until the bird is done, about 15 minutes more.
Combine the peaches and sugar with 2 cups of water in a large skillet over medium-high heat while the bird is roasting. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Let boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Into this mixture place the peach halves, cut side down, and let them cook, occasionally spooning them with the sugary liquid, until they are very tender. In a separate skillet melt the remaining butter. Remove the peaches from the sugar syrup and saute them in the butter just until they begin to brown. When the chicken is done, remove it from the pan, arrange the peach halves around it and set aside to keep warm.
Skim the fat from the roasting pan and set on the oven burners on medium-high or transfer sauce to a saucepot. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-low and simmer gently for 5 minutes, scraping the pan well and stirring. Add the brandy to the sauce and simmer gently for 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Serve this sauce in a gravy boat alongside the chicken.
Recipe courtesy of Personal Chef Michele Thompson, MS
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