Sunday, November 21, 2010

Who mentioned chicken???

Didn't I say I wouldn't feel guilty if I craved chicken and actually ate it?  Well . . . I did! :)

Last time I ordered my groceries online I included a whole chicken for the first time in months!  I had been dreaming with roasting a chicken with potatoes and tomatoes . . . yum!  In the past I've tried different recipesalways looking for the perfect roast chickenbut, invariably, each time I would find something that I could have changed or done slightly differently to improve the flavor.  So . . . this time I decided to take ideas from two different recipes, with my own inputs . . . and I got a winner!!!

I like America's Test Kitchen recipe for "Crisp-Skin High-Roast Butterflied Chicken with Potatoes", which includes brining the chicken, but this time I added ingredients to the brine—which I found in a Thanksgiving turkey recipe from Alton Brownand left the bird in it for a much longer time.  I also varied the ingredients for the flavored butter applied underneath the chicken skin.  Well . . . here is the recipe:

Susy's Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Tomatoes


For the brine:
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-half gallon (64 fl oz) container of apple cider
  • 2-14 oz cans of vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
For the flavored butter:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons roasted garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • Ground black pepper to taste
Rest of ingredients:
  • 1-4.5 lb chicken, giblets removed (do not use a kosher chicken—it is salted and has a taste and texture similar to a brined bird)
  • 8 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • Ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil

1. Start with the brine the night before. Dissolve salt and sugar in apple cider and vegetable broth in large container. Add the peppercorns, rosemary, thyme and garlic and mix. Immerse chicken and refrigerate overnight.

2. Early in the morning next day, remove chicken from brine and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Following illustrations 1 through 6 (below, under "Technique"), butterfly chicken, flatten breastbone, apply flavored butter (to prepare it, mash together all ingredients in a small bowl), and position chicken on broiler pan rack; thoroughly pat dry with paper towels.  For extra crisp skin, after applying the flavored butter, let the chicken dry uncovered in the refrigerator 6 to 8 hours.

3. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line bottom of broiler pan with heavy duty foil and spray with nonstick vegetable cooking spray.

4. Toss potatoes and tomatoes with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, thyme and pepper to taste in medium bowl. Spread potatoes and tomatoes in even layer in foil-lined broiler pan bottom. Place broiler pan rack with chicken on top. Rub chicken with 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil.

5. Roast chicken until spotty brown, about 2 hours, until skin has crisped and turned a deep brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees in thickest part of breast. Transfer chicken to cutting board and let it rest (loosely cover with foil) for 15-20 minutes. Cut chicken into serving pieces and serve with potatoes and tomatoes.

Step by step: Preparing to Roast

1. Cut through bones on either side of backbone, then remove and discard backbone.

2. Flip chicken over as shown and use the heel of your hand to flatten breastbone.

3. If using a compound butter, slip your fingers between skin and breast, loosening the membrane.

4. Scoop some of the butter onto a spoon, slide it under breast skin, and push off with your fingers.

5. Work butter under skin to cover breast evenly. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with each drumstick and thigh.

6. Transfer to broiling rack and push legs up to rest between thighs and the breast.


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