Make a Date with this Chick

Most home cooks I know don’t have a lot of extra time during the week to make dinner. They want to do a minimum of prep work that results in something tasty that the entire family will eat. Dinner done. This succulent Baked Chicken with Herbs, Garlic & Shallots recipe fits the bill. It may likely become a staple of your weeknight dinner repertoire because once the prep is out of the way, it’s pretty much hands off for an hour.

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Vary the herbs as you like, but stick to the hardy ones—thyme, rosemary, sage, and oregano. They’ll roast without burning and have a stronger flavor. Because we adore roasted shallots and garlic, I increased the amount of these aromatics. After an hour getting happy with the herbs and chicken juices, the caramelized shallots in particular melt in your mouth and are fabulous when combined with almost every bite of the poultry.

IMG_1678Russ butchers the whole chicken by first cutting out the back bone.

You may wonder why buy a whole chicken, then butcher it when you could just purchase legs, thighs and breasts independently. You can certainly do that and make the prep work even easier. But if like us, you want the extra wings, back and neck to make homemade chicken stock—something we always want to have on hand—than it makes a lot of sense. Plus it’s usually cheaper to buy a whole chicken than individual parts. You have to ask yourself, what’s more important, time or money?

“From a whole bird, you can produce a meal of chicken and vegetables to feed a family of four, a meal worth of leftovers, a bag of chicken pieces in the freezer for a future meal for a family of four, and a bag of chicken stock for another meal or two.”
—Trent Hamm of the Simple Dollar

To make a simple “jus” with the drippings, after chicken and shallots are done, remove them to a platter and cover loosely with foil. Stir in 1 cup boiling water or 1/2 water and 1/2 cup wine. Drizzle over the platter, or individual portions.

Make sure to pencil in a date on your calendar for dinner with this “chick!”

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Ingredients

  • 1 chicken (3-1/2 to 4 lb.), cut into quarters
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 6 medium shallots, cut in half and peeled
  • 8 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • Leaves stripped from 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Leaves stripped from 8 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1-1/2 tsp. coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 425°F. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Cut away any excess fat and tuck the wings behind each breast.
  2. Put the butter into a large, shallow baking pan (the 10-1/2×15-1/2-inch Pyrex pan is ideal for this). Put the pan into the oven while it’s heating. When the butter is melted (about 10 minutes), remove the pan and set it on a heatproof surface or on a couple of potholders.
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  3. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme, and rosemary, and swirl the pan to coat the ingredients in the butter.
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  4. Dredge the chicken, skin side down, in the butter and herb mixture, and arrange, skin side up, in the pan. Sprinkle the chicken generously with the salt and pepper.
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  5. Bake until the chicken is browned and cooked through, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve with the shallots and garlic along with a drizzle of the pan drippings.

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Along with the shallots, we served ours with miso-flavored quinoa and a small side salad.

By Abigail Johnson Dodge from Fine Cooking

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