I don’t know about you, but cooking a chunk of meat larger than the size of my head sometimes intimidates me. How do I get the thing to cook evenly? Do I need to rotate it? Breast side up or down? Will it implode like Clark Griswold’s turkey on Christmas Vacation?
Ah, I have the perfect recipe for you..the chicken skin thin and crisp, the meat succulent and the sauce divine. Best of all, its so easy. I was inspired by watching Joanne Weir’s cooking show on PBS last night. The secret is to flatten the bird by using sharp kitchen shears to cut out the backbone.
With the whole bird on the cutting board, breast side down, take your shears and start at the tail end, about 1″ to the right of the backbone. Cut all the way up to the neck. Repeat on the other side of the backbone. Flip the bird over, and using the palms of your hands, push to flatten out the bird even more. The flatter, the better, as more of the surface will touch the hot pan and crisp the skin.
The sauce is so simple and only takes minutes to finish. For the photo above, I used fresh artichoke that I trimmed and sliced. But to make the recipe even easier, use baby portabella mushrooms. (if you want to make the artichoke version, read to the end of the recipe) The sauce is pan drippings plus some wine and a quick squeeze of a lemon half.
The absolute best way to eat this bird is to pile it on one large plate, pan dripping sauce and all, and devour it with a friend.
Here is another roast chicken recipe to try: Szechuan Peppercorn Roasted Chicken
The Best Roast Chicken Recipe
from Joanne Weir(serves 4) – well, in our case, it was just the 2 of us, but it was so darn good that we ate it all.
1 3.5-lb organic chicken, split (see above)
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1/2 tsp freshly chopped parsley
1/2 cup white wine
1. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees. On your stovetop, heat a large fry pan on high heat(big enough to fit the bird, and one that can withstand high heat in the oven). Add 2T canola oil to the pan. While the pan heats up, make sure your bird is patted as dry as possible. When the pan is smoking hot – gently place the bird SKIN side down in the pan. Season the top of bird with salt and pepper. Immediately place the entire pan in the 475 degree oven for 10 minutes.
2. Carefully remove hot pan from oven. flip the bird over. The skin should be beautifully golden and crisp. Generously season the skin side with salt and pepper. Return pan to the oven. Roast another 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven, place chicken on a plate and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.
3. Put the hot pan (careful! the pan is very hot still!) on the stovetop. Discard all but 3T of the pan drippings. Add mushrooms and fry until softened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, dried Thyme, lemon. Reduce the sauce by half, about 2 minutes more. Finish with a sprinkling of chopped parsley. Serve chicken with sauce. Eat. Enjoy. Eat more. Can you tell I REALLY love this recipe?!
I’m so frugal-minded that I have a hard time purchasing a large, heavy artichoke and after trimming, end up with a tiny, 3-bite bit. My preference is to steam the whole thing, and slowly savor each and every leaf with a dipping in home made bagna caulda. But today, I was determined to use it in my Roast Chicken sauce. Here’s a step-by-step on how to trim, complete with photos to teach you.
After trimming the artichoke, I sliced thinly and placed in a bowl with lemon wedge to prevent browning while I heat up my pan. In a small fry pan, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 tsp minced garlic, fry for 20 seconds until fragrant. Add artichokes and 1/4 cup of chicken broth. Turn heat to low and cook until artichokes are softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside until you are ready to make the pan sauce. Then, just add the sauteed artichokes to the pan sauce in place of the mushrooms in above recipe. Enjoy!