April 15, 2009

Roast Chicken

[caption id="attachment_113" align="aligncenter" width="495" caption="Roast Chicken"]Roast Chicken[/caption]

I bought a whole chicken on sale. It was rather late in the day and I didn't feel like doing anything difficult, so I decided to roast it.

Roasting a chicken is really easy. You'll need a roasting pan and rack, or a nice grill pan, which is what I used. Start by rinsing the chicken, then drying it thoroughly, inside and out, with a paper towel. Let the chicken air dry while the oven is warming to 425º. Once the oven is ready, put the chicken in for 20 minutes, the reduce the heat to 400º. Roast it about another 40 minutes, until the temperature of the thigh meat reaches 175º.

While the oven was warming, I made a compound butter to put under the skin. A compound butter is butter mixed with seasonings, in this case minced garlic and a few herbs. I gently pushed the compound butter under the breast skin and massaged it into the breast meat to add flavor and moistness. I also crushed three cloves of garlic, rubbed the interior cavity of the chicken with the garlic and some salt, and then left the garlic in the cavity to add more flavor. Some fruit or herbs would have worked just as well.

I wanted a sauce with the chicken, so I sautéed the neck, heart(s) and gizzard with about one-half tablespoon each butter and olive oil, plus about one-quarter onion, minced. Once that was nicely browned, I deglazed the pan with about two tablespoons of chardonnay and added a cup of water. I then simmered until the liquid reduced to about half a cup. I strained and reserved the liquid.

The pan went back onto the stove with about two tablespoons each of butter and olive oil, in which I sautéed some sliced mushrooms. When they gave up their moisture I added some leftover caramelized onions, the reserved liquid, and about half a cup of red wine, and cooked until the liquid was reduced in half. I then added about a quarter cup of crème fraîche and simmered until the liquid was once again reduced to about a half cup.

A side salad, plus bow tie pasta dressed with extra virgin olive oil, a chiffonade of basil, and freshly cracked black pepper completed the meal for two. Total time was about 90 minutes, including waiting. Half the chicken remains to be used for something else.

No comments:

Post a Comment