On vacation in Hilton Head in mid-September, and with plans to check out as many restaurants as the schedule would allow, we also anticipated dining in, at least a few evenings. The Hubs and I drove down with good friend Merry Sue (owner of the time share) which sported a modern, fully-equipped kitchen. As her guests, we promised to make dinner a couple of nights, although we had no pre-planned menus. (But we did intentionally schlepp down a few good knives 🙂 )
It was unanimous that chicken be the star of dinner this particular night, so The Hubs began his search on several of our recipe faves and found this perfect gem, Baked Chicken with Herbs, Garlic & Shallots, on FineCooking.com. Because it consisted of few ingredients, a good thing when on vacation, and was simple in employment, the recipe fit our criteria to a tee.
For some strange reason the local supermarket carried only four whole chickens, so I bought the smallest at just over 4 1/2 pounds—which in hind sight worked out well because we all ADORED the finished dish, plus had leftovers for a tasty chicken salad for lunch the next day! This recipe is so easy to modify to your liking with different herbs, extra garlic, small onions, etc. If you prefer white or dark meat only, you could also substitute bone-in, skin-on split breasts or thighs.
I believe this will easily become a staple of our weeknight dinner repertoire. 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.
Without a lot of staples at our disposal, we opted to go for a packaged rice dish and a simple side salad (the grape tomatoes we transported from our garden at home) to complete the meal. When we make this delicious dish again, I think we’ll go ahead and make the pan sauce to pair with some garlicky mashed potatoes to accompany the baked chicken. Mmmm-mm good!
Baked Chicken with Herbs, Garlic and Shallots
- 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
- 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.
- Put the butter into a large, shallow baking pan (a 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. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme, and rosemary, and swirl the pan to coat the ingredients in the butter.
- 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. 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.
Adapted from a recipe by Abigail Johnson Dodge from Fine Cooking