Prepare a moderate fire in your wood-fired oven to bring the temperature up to around 350-400°F—or preheat your indoor oven.
1 whole free-range, chicken split
1/2 pound black cherry (pits removed)
2 stalks celery
2 bay leaves
1 sprig thyme
1/2 dozen parsley stalks
salt and pepper
4 tablespoon white all-purpose flour
Roughly chop the all of the vegetables and line the bottom of a roasting pan. The mirepoix base will keep the chicken from sticking to the pan and later add flavor to a quick stock for making jus.
Scatter the bay leaves, thyme, and parsley stalks and black cherries over the mirepoix. Once the pan is properly bedded with mirepoix and black cherries set it aside.
Then rinse the whole chicken in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Trim off the tiny winglet points from each wing and add them to the vegetable mix as well. Trim any excess fat and discard. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper and position on top of the mirepoix.
The chicken should take about one to one and a half hours to roast in a cooling wood-fired oven. [The 350-400°F starting temperature will cool over the course of roasting without the addition of more wood – that’s why the cooking time is longer.]Cover roasting pan with a lid or foil for the first hour and remove for the final hour of cooking. Cook until juices run clear. Once done, remove bird from the pan to a platter.
Strain juices from the roasting pan into a small saucepan. Skim excess fat from the top of the liquid, season to taste, and bring to a boil on an indoor stovetop or outdoor hotplate. In a small bowl whisk together flour and enough cold water to form a mixture the consistency of heavy cream. Slowly add the flour/water slurry to the boiling vegetable/chicken stock stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Reduce heat and simmer until jus thickens. Serve when ready!