Friday, January 15, 2010

3 Roast Chicken Recipes - Simple & Chic

To follow up my last post on translating Spring fashion trends from the runway to the table, I've sifted through dozens of delicious roast chicken recipes on and from my own kitchen, and selected 3 stellar picks to model what might just be the epitome of a classic, chic yet incredibly simple dish (perfect for cold weather comfort, or anytime of year). So here they are, exemplifying how basic, fresh ingredients can be so fabulous.
*Classically simple
Roast Chicken with Lemon and Thyme (Bon Appetit, Sept. 1999)

  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 7-pound roasting chicken
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup (about) canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix first 4 ingredients in bowl. Rinse chicken; pat dry. Place chicken in roasting pan. Rub all but 1 tablespoon garlic-thyme oil over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place lemon in cavity of chicken. Tie legs with string.

Roast chicken 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Roast chicken until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of inner thigh registers 180°F, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Lift chicken and tilt slightly, emptying juices from cavity into pan. Transfer chicken to serving platter. Tent chicken with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Pour pan juices into large glass measuring cup. Spoon fat off top. Add wine to pan; place over high heat. Bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Pour wine mixture into measuring cup with pan juices (do not clean roasting pan). Add enough chicken broth to cup to measure 1 1/2 cups. Return broth mixture to same roasting pan. Mix flour into reserved 1 tablespoon garlic-thyme oil. Whisk into broth mixture. Boil broth mixture in roasting pan set over 2 burners until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season pan-juice mixture to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into sauceboat. Serve chicken, passing pan-juice mixture separately.

*A touch of sophistication

  • Makes 4 servings.
  • 1 1/4 pounds assorted seedless grapes (such as green, red, and black), cut into small clusters
  • 6 large shallots (about 10 ounces), peeled, halved through root end
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme plus 6 large sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 4-to 4 1/2-pound chicken, excess fat removed from cavity

Preheat oven to 400°F. Gently toss grape clusters, shallots, chopped thyme, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in large bowl to coat. Rub chicken with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil; sprinkle inside and out with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place thyme sprigs in cavity. Place chicken in large roasting pan; arrange grape mixture around chicken. Roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken thigh registers 165°F and grapes are shriveled, about 1 hour 10 minutes.

Transfer chicken to platter; let rest 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, arrange grapes and shallots around chicken. Transfer pan juices to small pitcher; spoon fat from surface of juices and discard. Serve chicken with pan juices alongside.

*Easy and chic from my own kitchen

Rosemary-Garlic Roast Chicken

1 3- to 4-pound organic, free-range chicken

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary (or a mixture of fresh herbs, like rosemary, thyme, and sage)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Clean and rinse the chicken and pat dry. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, and rosemary. Tie the chicken legs together with kitchen string and rub three quarters of the butter mixture under the skin of the chicken directly on the flesh. Rub the remaining butter on the top and bottom of the breast and season with salt and pepper. Place the celery, onion, carrots, and chicken broth in the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the chicken in the pan on a roasting rack, breast side up. Roast for about 1 ½ hours, until the juices run clear when the chicken is pricked. Baste with pan juices every 20 minutes or so. Check the temperature between the thigh and the leg—an instant-read thermometer should read 180°F. Remove the chicken from the roasting pan, carve, and serve with some of the roasted vegetables.

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