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Recipe for roast chicken on angel hair with sauteed cherry tomatoes

Food styling by Sheryl Julian and Valerie Ryan; photo by Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Serves 6

There is nothing quite like crisp chicken skin and moist flesh sitting on a bed of angel hair that is soaked with the bird's juices. Cook the thin strands of pasta fully before transferring them to a baking dish. Split a chicken as we do here (or buy it already split), and set the halves on the pasta to roast. Bring the baking dish to the table and use shears to cut up the chicken.

Olive oil (for sprinkling)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound angel hair or capellini pasta
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 whole chicken (3½ pounds)
4 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the angel hair or capellini, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the pasta is tender but still has some bite. (If the pasta is in nests, pull them apart with tongs.) Drain into a colander but do not rinse. Return to the pan.


3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil until hot. Add the cherry tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes collapse. Stir the cherry tomatoes into the pasta and toss well. Transfer to the baking dish.

4. Remove the giblets from the chicken. Set it breast side down on a cutting board. With kitchen shears, remove the backbone. Open the chicken like a paperback so the breastbone pops up. Pull out the breastbone. Cut the chicken in half between the breasts. Set the chicken skin side up on the pasta. Rub with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Roast the chicken for 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 160 degrees. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes (the temperature will rise 5 degrees).

6. Use the shears to carve the chicken into 2 wings with a little breast meat attached to each, 2 breast pieces, 2 thighs, and 2 legs. Cut the pasta into big squares (kitchen shears work well) and serve with the chicken. Sprinkle with oregano. Sheryl Julian