This recipe is presented as part of the Jefferson Thanksgiving Challenge.  We asked alumni chefs to create Thanksgiving dishes using only the ingredients that would have been available at Monticello during Thomas Jefferson's time.


1 whole chicken
1/2 bunch of tarragon
1 onion, chopped in half
1/2 cup rendered lard, room temperature
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Season the cavity of the chicken, liberally, with salt and pepper.

Stuff the tarragon and onion into the cavity of the chicken.

Truss the chicken.

Dry the skin with a paper towel and rub with lard. Season the skin of the chicken with salt and pepper.

Place chicken in oven for 1 hour. Check to see if a thermometer, when inserted into the thigh, reads 160 degrees F.

If thermometer does not read 160 degrees F, place the chicken in the oven and check every 10 minutes until ready. If the thermometer does read 160 degrees F, pull the chicken and allow to rest for AT LEAST 20 minutes before carving it.

Serve with your choice of roasted potato, parsnip, beets or apples.