Tag Archives: roast chicken

Roast Chicken with Couscous, Roasted Red Peppers and Basil

No fuss, no muss—perfect dinner for us. Every now and again (or perhaps all of the time), you want a quick, simple, yet satisfying meal. If that meal is a golden-brown, juicy, and tender roast chicken, then this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated (CI) is the ticket.

In a different twist, CI instructs to trim off excess skin and fat from the cavity and cut small slits in the skin above and below the thigh. Cutting these slits allows the juices to drain from the chicken into the skillet, where they brown, concentrate, and develop more flavor. Prior to roasting, the skin is brushed with melted butter instead of oil to facilitate browning.

Roasting the chicken breast side up in a preheated skillet set in a 400-degree oven helps the legs finish cooking at the same time as the breast. When the breast registers 150 to 155 degrees, remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest, tented with foil, for 15 minutes on a moated cutting board so that it can gently rise to the serving temperature of 160 degrees.

Even though our chicken weighed in at 5 pounds, it took only an additional 5 minutes to come to temp. While the bird rests, use the umami-rich jus as a base for cooking an ultra-flavorful side dish of couscous with roasted red peppers.

NOTE: This recipe was developed with Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt; if using Morton Kosher Salt, which is denser, decrease the amount for the chicken to 1¾ teaspoons and the amount for the couscous to ¼ teaspoon.

Roast Chicken with Couscous, Roasted Red Peppers and Basil

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt, divided
  • ½ tsp. pepper1 (4-lb.) whole chicken, giblets discarded
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • ¾ cup couscous
  • ½ cup water, more or less*
  • 5 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup jarred roasted red peppers, chopped fine
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Stir 2½ teaspoons salt and pepper together in small bowl. Place chicken breast side up on cutting board. Using kitchen shears, thoroughly trim excess fat and skin from cavity. Lift 1 drumstick and use paring knife to cut ½-inch slit in skin where drumstick and thigh meet. Turn chicken on side so breast faces edge of counter. Cut ½-inch slit in skin where top of thigh meets breast. Repeat both cuts on opposite side of chicken. Tuck wingtips behind back. Sprinkle about one-third of salt mixture into cavity.
  3. Brush top and sides of chicken with melted butter. Sprinkle remaining salt mixture evenly over all sides of chicken.
  4. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place chicken breast side up in skillet; transfer to oven; and roast until thickest part of breast registers 150 to 155 degrees, 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, rotating skillet halfway through roasting.
  5. Lift the chicken cavity side down to drain the juices from the bird into the skillet. Transfer chicken to a moated carving board and let rest, tented with foil, for 15 minutes (chicken temperature will continue to rise as it rests).
  6. Meanwhile, pour pan juices into fat separator. Add 1 tablespoon fat to now-empty skillet. Add garlic and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is pale golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add couscous and stir until well combined. Stir in all defatted pan juices with *enough water to equal one cup, vinegar, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and bring to simmer. Spread red peppers in even layer over couscous; turn off heat; cover; and let sit until couscous is just tender and all liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  8. Carve chicken and transfer to platter. Pour any accumulated juices over the poultry pieces.
  9. Fluff couscous, stir in basil, season with salt to taste, and transfer to bowl. Serve chicken with couscous.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from a recipe by Cooks Illustrated

Ginger Roast Chicken and Elbow Macaroni with Tomatoes and Pan Sauce

Chef/author Molly Stevens says of her recipe, “This is what I call a sleeper recipe. At first glance it doesn’t look like much — a whole chicken rubbed with a little fresh ginger, roasted, and served alongside elbow macaroni tossed with diced tomatoes and the roasting juices. Exactly what makes this dish so remarkable is hard to pinpoint, but there’s a wonderful alchemy that occurs when the chicken, ginger, and tomato all come together. It’s comforting, a little exotic, and truly delicious.”

During roasting, the drippings, the wine, and the roasted giblets cook together, creating a savory jus. The chicken also roasts on a rack to encourage the drippings to caramelize a bit as they hit the hot pan, developing even more flavor. It can be made year-round using canned tomatoes; in season, use fresh if you wish.

In the end, the chicken was juicy and delicious! My only criticism was that there were too few tomatoes. Next time, I will double the amount and use two cans of diced. The Hubs thought it was fine as is, but also wouldn’t be adverse to the possibility of additional tomatoes. We completed the meal with a simple side salad.

Plan ahead: For the best flavor, season the chicken 8 to 24 hours ahead of roasting.

Ginger Roast Chicken and Elbow Macaroni with Tomatoes and Pan Sauce

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One 3 1/2- to 4-lb. chicken, preferably with giblets
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
  • 12 oz. dried elbow macaroni
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • One 14 1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes, with juices, or 1 scant lb. fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley, plus sprigs for garnish, if desired

Directions

  1. Season the chicken. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the ginger, 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper.
  2. Over the sink, remove the giblets from the chicken, if there are any (they are usually tucked into the cavity). Reserve all but the liver. (Discard the liver or save it for another use.) Hold the chicken over the drain and let any juice run out. Pat the chicken dry inside and out with paper towels. With your fingers, pull away and discard any large deposits of fat from the neck or body cavity opening. Then, using your fingertips and starting at the cavity opening, gently loosen the skin over the breast and thighs of the chicken. Once the skin is loose, rub about three quarters of the ginger mixture under the skin, over the breast and thighs. Rub the rest inside the cavity. Smear the surface all over with about 1 teaspoon olive oil. Season the breast liberally with more salt and pepper. Tuck the wing tips back so they are secure under the neck bone.
  3. If you are seasoning the bird ahead of time, refrigerate it for at least 8 hours and up to 48 hours, uncovered or lightly covered with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the giblets too, if using. If you are not seasoning that far in advance, let the bird stand at room temperature to allow some of the rub’s flavoring to penetrate; it can safely stay at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
  4. Heat the oven. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400 degrees (375 degrees convection).
  5. Roast the chicken. If you have giblets, put them in a medium, low-sided roasting pan or gratin or baking dish (about 8 by 12 inches). Set a roasting rack over the giblets and put the chicken breast side up on the rack. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken and put it in the oven, with the legs facing the rear wall. After 25 minutes, open the oven door and pour the vermouth or wine over the chicken.
  6. If at any time the liquid in the pan appears to dry up, add 1/4 cup water to the pan. Continue roasting, basting the chicken once or twice by spooning the pan drippings over the breast, until the juices run clear with only a trace of pink when you prick the thigh and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (without touching bone) registers 170 degrees, another 35 to 55 minutes.
  7. Lift the chicken out of the pan, using a fork or tongs to steady it, and carefully tilt it to pour the juices from the cavity into the roasting pan. Transfer the chicken to a carving board (preferably one with a trough). Discard the giblets, but reserve all the juices in the pan.
  8. Cook the macaroni. About 10 minutes before the chicken is done, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. While the chicken rests, warm a wide, shallow serving dish or bowl big enough for the cooked macaroni; I like to use a 2- to 3-quart gratin or baking dish. A pasta bowl works as well. Cook the macaroni until tender but not mushy, about 7 minutes or according to the package instructions.
  9. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a medium 10-inch skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, the remaining 2 teaspoons ginger, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and just golden, about 1 minute (lower the heat if the garlic threatens to scorch).
  10. Add the tomatoes and their juices and increase the heat to high. Cook, stirring often, evaporating some of the juice, until the tomatoes begin to brown in spots, about 8 minutes. (They won’t get very brown because of the liquid, but you want to see a few caramelized bits.)
  11. Taste for salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the basil or parsley.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe from Molly Steven’s cookbook, All About Roasting

Butterflied Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Fennel, Rosemary and Orange

First order of business for this scrumptious recipe from Molly Stevens is to butterfly—aka spatchcockthe chicken (or have your butcher do it for you). A method we use often because the flattened bird cooks more evenly than a whole one, where the slower-cooking dark meat gets more heat exposure and the lighter breast meat remains protected at the center of the pan.

This recipe arrangement allows for a marvelous flavor exchange as the chicken bastes the fennel-orange-rosemary mix with savory juices, all while absorbing its sweet-citrusy-woodsy aromas. Just writing this is getting my juices flowing! And everything on just one pan, who doesn’t love that?!

If at all possible, try to get blood oranges, with their sweet, yet tart, exceedingly aromatic and juicy fruit. Along with their lovely, jewel-like red color, blood oranges tend to have a noticeable and delicious raspberry edge to their flavor.

With the potatoes around the perimeter of the baking sheet, they get the full brunt of the oven’s heat, producing brown crispy exteriors while maintaining creamy interiors. This approach to cooking a variety of elements all in one pan (with different handling) results in a complementary alliance of flavors and textures. A good bottle of wine would be the only other accompaniment needed…

Plan Ahead: For the best flavor and texture, season the chicken at least 4, and up to 24 hours in advance.

One follow up note, some of the fennel wedges were still not completely cooked through at the end. To solve this issue, first make the fennel wedges only 1/2″ thick, and then slice off some of the inner triangular core of the fennel, but leave enough to keep the wedges intact.

Butterflied Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Fennel, Rosemary and Orange

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp. black pepercorns
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika, smoked (pimentón) or regular, sweet or hot
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 4-lb. chicken, butterflied and patted dry
  • 2 large fennel bulbs (about 1 1/2 lbs. untrimmed)
  • 1 3/4 lbs. med. red or white potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 small blood (or navel) orange, scrubbed
  • 2 Tbsp. EVOO
  • 2 3- to 4-inch fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth

Directions

  1. Combine the coriander seeds and peppercorns in a mortar or spice grinder and coarsely grind. Transfer to a small cup and add the pimentón (paprika) and 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and stir to combine.
  2. Pat the chicken dry all over and sprinkle half of this mixture on the underside of the chicken, rubbing in so the spices adhere. Flip and rub the remainder of the bird, including legs and wings, with the spices. Set the chicken, skin side up, on a rimmed baking sheet or tray. Tuck the wingtips under the back of the chicken, and the thighs are not flopped outward. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 4, and up to 24 hours.
  3. When ready to roast, heat the oven to 400° (375° convection) with a rack near the middle. Let the chicken sit at room temperature while the oven heats.
  4. Meanwhile, cut the fennel into wedges just over 1-inch across at their widest. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch wedges.Cut the orange crosswise in half and set one half aside for juicing later. Cut the remaining half in half, and then crosswise into 1/4-inch quarter moon shapes.
  5. Place the fennel and orange slices in the center of a large heavy rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the potatoes off to one side. Drizzle the olive oil over everything and season with salt and pepper. Toss the fennel and oranges together to coat with oil and seasonings. Do the same with the potatoes but keep them separate.
  6. Spread out the vegetables in a single layer, grouping the fennel and orange toward the center and the potatoes around the perimeter—this will allow the chicken to protect the quicker-cooking fennel and oranges from burning, and ensure crisp brown potatoes.
  7. Place the rosemary sprigs on the fennel and squeeze the juice from the reserved orange half onto it.
  8. Place the chicken on the vegetables, skin side up. The potatoes should be fully exposed or poking out and the fennel mostly tucked under the bird. Pour the vermouth or the wine around the potatoes, avoiding the chicken.
  9. Roast, stirring the potatoes and rotating the pan about halfway through, until the chicken skin is crisp and well-browned in spots. The juices from the breast should run almost clear when you prick it with a knife. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh (without touching the bone) should register 170°, in 45 to 50 minutes.
  10. Remove chicken to a cutting board with trough to catch the juices, and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  11. Stir the vegetables, combining the fennel, potatoes and oranges and coating them with the pan drippings. If the fennel and potatoes are not tender, return them to the oven to finish roasting while the chicken rests.
  12. Halve the chicken by cutting straight down the center bone. Cut each whole leg away from each breast half and cut the legs into thighs and drumsticks. Cut each breast half crosswise in half, leaving the wing attached to the upper portion, creating 8 total pieces.
  13. Pour any carving juices over the vegetables and serve immediately.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe from from Molly Stevens cookbook “All About Dinner”

Georgian-Style Chicken (Tsitsila Tabaka)

Chicken under a brick is an approach similar to Italy’s pollo alla mattone. In Italy, instead of simply seasoning the meat, cooks build flavor by marinating it in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and herbs, such as rosemary, then searing the chicken, skin side down, with bricks on top. They then usually flip it and finish it in the oven. Here, we spatchcock the bird and add a dry rub.

For this recipe from Milk Street, the skillet in which the chicken is cooked must be oven-safe, as the bird roasts in the oven after the initial stovetop sear. For the “brick,” you can used a second heavy skillet or a large, sturdy pot (such as a Dutch oven). My Mister cleverly used the already-filled skillet with Brussels sprouts intended for our side dish. The weight presses the chicken down, ensuring the bird makes good contact with the hot skillet, rendering the fat and crisping the skin.

Our chicken was larger than suggested at 4.4 pounds, but it did fit our large cast iron skillet (see tip below).

TIPS: Don’t use a chicken much larger than 4 pounds, as it may not fit comfortably in the skillet. Don’t forget to pat the chicken dry before searing. The drier the skin, the better it crisps. After searing, make sure to drain the fat in the pan before putting the bird in the oven; this reduces splatter. Finally, don’t forget that the skillet’s handle will be hot after being in the oven. — Milk Street

Georgian Style Chicken Under a Brick

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1½ tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. granulated garlic
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 3¼- to 4-lb. whole chicken
  • 1 Tbsp. grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 2 Tbsp. salted butter
  • 8 medium garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the coriander, granulated garlic, 1 tablespoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Place the chicken breast down on a cutting board. Using sturdy kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone, end to end. Remove and discard the backbone (or save it to make broth).
  2. Spread open the chicken, then turn it breast up. Use the heel of your hand to press down firmly on the thickest part of the breast, until the wishbone snaps. Season all over, front and back, with the spice mixture, rubbing it into the skin. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. Heat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the lowest position.
  4. Thoroughly pat the chicken dry with paper towels. In a 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until just smoking. Place the chicken breast down in the pan. Lay a small sheet of foil over the chicken, then place a second heavy skillet or pot on top. Reduce to medium and cook until the skin is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes, removing the weight and foil and checking every 4 to 5 minutes to ensure even browning.
  5. Using tongs, carefully transfer the chicken to a large plate, turning it breast up. Pour off and discard the fat in the skillet. Slide the chicken breast up back into the pan and place in the oven. Roast until the thickest part of the breast reaches 160°F, 25 to 35 minutes. Carefully transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest while you make the sauce.
  6. Set the skillet (the handle will be hot) over medium-high and cook the butter and garlic, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the broth and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits, then cook until the garlic is softened and the mixture is lightly thickened and reduced to about ¾ cup, 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Using a silicone spatula, mash the garlic until almost smooth and mix it into the sauce. Off heat, stir in the cayenne, lemon juice and cilantro, then transfer to a serving bowl. Carve, then serve with the sauce.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from a recipe for Milk Street

Split Decision Chicken

On weekends, we usually work out dinner menus for Sunday through Wednesday for the following week. Then Thursday is leftover night, while Friday and Saturday we dine out. (Of course, COVID put a big dent in that typical scenario for much of 2020.)

Recently, one Saturday morning I was creating the menu while simultaneously preparing a shopping list of necessary ingredients. Part way into process, The Mr. joined me to work out the details. Shortly afterward we hit the road to make our purchases.

As I mentioned, Saturday night is a dine-out event. As we enjoyed our repast at a nearby restaurant, I wondered aloud what we had planned for dinner the next day on Sunday? We just stared at each other open-mouthed, and realized that somehow, we had entirely overlooked that meal altogether, duh! So we made a split decision and decided to retrieve two chicken halves from the freezer as soon as we got home.

That begged the question of exactly what to do with said chicken halves, not to mention what sides to serve with it? I decided to make a butter-garlic rub for the chicken and roast some Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Shallots and garlic, all of which could go into a 425° oven. Hubby was going to throw together a baked rice dish which he could do entirely on the stovetop. Crisis averted.

I always keep a container of homemade roasted garlic paste in the fridge and decided to make a butter rub using the paste, rosemary and lemon zest. Our Lynn’s Split-Decision Roast Chicken not only spoke to our separate preferences of white versus dark meat, it resulted in a wonderful dinner full of flavor!

Lynn's Split Decision Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 chicken halves, each about 1 3/4 lbs.
  • 2 Tbsp. softened (not melted) butter
  • 1 Tbsp. roasted garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. If you’re starting with a whole chicken, cut out the back and split the chicken into two equal halves. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the other ingredients with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Lifting the skin of the chicken rub the butter mixture all over the breast, thigh and legs without ripping the skin.
  3. Oil a rimmed quarter baking sheet. Arrange the chicken halves, skin side up on the baking sheet, rub more oil over the skin and sprinkle on salt and pepper.
  4. After 30 minutes, baste the chicken with the drippings to help the skin brown and crisp. Check the temperature and return to the oven for about another 10 minutes. The thickest part of the thigh, without touching the bone, should register 170° when done.
  5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, move chicken to a platter, and tent with foil for 5-10 minutes. If desired, cut the breasts away from the thighs to create 4 pieces total.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Simple Iron Skillet Roast Chicken and Gravy

There’s something about roast chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy that screams comfort food to me. And I’ve made many a dinner highlighting these ingredients over the decades. The basis of this recipe hails from Mark Bittman of the NY Times Cooking site. With an ingredient list just four items long (chicken, olive oil, salt, pepper), the genius of this bare-bones roast chicken is in its technique.

To make it, thoroughly preheat a cast-iron skillet before placing a seasoned bird, breast side up, in it. In under an hour you’ll get a stunner of a chicken, with moist, tender white meat, crisp, salty chicken skin, and juicy dark meat all done to perfection. Your mouth watering yet?

If you don’t already have a cast-iron skillet large enough to hold a whole chicken, this recipe is a good enough reason to invest in one.

Mark Bittman

We, of course, had to kick it up a notch. Knowing we wanted to have garlicky mashed potatoes on the side, gravy is a must for the spuds. In order to get more depth of flavor, we stuffed the cavity of the chicken with a Meyer lemon, shallot, and fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme and sage). Not only did the additional ingredients subtly permeate the meat, but they added an amazing amount of flavor to the pan sauce.

So we’ve taken Mark’s simple recipe and expanded the directions to include our flavor enhancers and gravy. Our chicken—at less than 3 pounds—was probably the tiniest one I’ve ever cooked, so it came to temperature on the quicker side.

Honestly, after just one bite, we oooohed and aaahed all the way through dinner. You can always skip the additional cavity-stuffing ingredients and gravy to simplify things, but with very little additional effort, why would you? Plus we got the bonus of saving the carcass, stuffing and all, for future homemade stock…

The meal also included a side of roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic cloves.

Simple Iron Skillet Roast Chicken and Gravy

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, trimmed of excess fat
  • Fresh herbs: a few sprigs each of fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme and sage
  • 1 or 2 shallots, peeled and slice in half lengthwise
  • 1 Meyer lemon or orange, sliced in half or quartered
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch, make a slurry with 1/4 cup cool water

Directions

  1. Put a cast-iron skillet on a low rack in the oven and heat the oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Insert your stuffing ingredients such as fresh herbs, shallots and citrus. Truss the legs with kitchen twine.
  3. Rub the chicken all over with the oil and sprinkle it generously with salt and pepper.
  4. When the oven and skillet are hot, carefully put the chicken in the skillet, breast side up. Roast for 15 minutes.
  5. Turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees. Continue to roast until the bird is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh reads 155 to 165 degrees.
  6. Tip the pan to let the juices flow from the chicken’s cavity into the pan. Transfer the chicken to a platter and let it rest for at least 5 minutes.
  7. While the chicken is resting, add the stock to the skillet and bring to a rolling simmer. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry, and continue a rolling simmer for a few minutes to let the gravy thicken.
  8. Return any accumulated juices from the chicken into the gravy. Carve the bird and serve.

http://www.lynnandruss.com