Posts tagged ‘Chicken’

October 15, 2015

The Best Roast Chicken! With Lemon, Fennel & Onion

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Eat your heart out Ina, I think I’ve invented a roast chicken that’s better than your, “Jeffrey’s Friday Night Roast Chicken,” or whatever you call it. I don’t mean to be snarky, but they say one of the determining factors in whether someone can really cook is how well they can roast a chicken, right? My husband has decided this is the best roast chicken… ever! Ina, just send Jeffrey over and he can decide for himself.

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There are four tricks to how I roast a chicken.

  1. I only use the small 3-4 pound chickens, not the oversized ones. Having company? Just roast a couple of the small ones.
  2. Prep the chicken and place it in the refrigerator, uncovered for a couple of hours or even all day. The salt and spices on the skin make it dry out – therefore, it’s more crispy when you roast it.
  3. Start the oven temperature really hot. Like 500 degrees hot. I lower the temperature after the first 15 minutes, but that super hot oven makes the skin nice and crispy. You can tent it with foil if it begins to brown too quickly.
  4. Spatchcock (butterfly) the chicken. Just remove the backbone and press it flat. I don’t stuff my birds and the butterflied chicken cooks so much faster and more evenly than a whole chicken. Lay the flattened chicken on a bed of vegetables like I did here, and it’s so delicious!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 1/2-4lb chicken
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 small fennel bulbs – trimmed and sliced
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 1 head of garlic – cloves separated but not peeled
  • 2 springs fresh rosemary
  • Handful of sprigs of fresh thyme, divided
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • Generous amount of kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

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Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.

Lay all of the sliced onions, fennel and lemons in the center of a sheet pan. Place the rosemary and thyme sprigs over the vegetables – drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with some salt and pepper to taste.

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Tuck a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme under the skin of each chicken breast and lay the flattened chicken on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle the chicken evenly with the garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper – place in the refrigerator, uncovered for a few hours. You could prep the chicken to this point in the morning and just leave it in there all day.

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Remove the sheet pan from the refrigerator and drizzle just a little olive oil over the chicken. Place the sheet pan on the center rack in the preheated oven and roast at 500 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 425 degrees and continue roasting for about 35-45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked to the proper temperature. If the chicken begins to brown too quickly you can tent it with foil.

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Remove the chicken from the pan and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. At this point you can stir the vegetables and I usually put them back in the oven to continue cooking so they get nice and carmelized. After the chicken has rested, cut it into quarters.

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Take a large platter and cover the bottom with fresh arugula. Top with the roasted vegetables, all the juices from the pan and the chicken pieces. Serve with a good baguette so you can spread the roasted garlic on the bread. Hot damn! That’s a mighty fine roast chicken!

Enjoy!

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March 11, 2015

Simple Homemade Chicken Salad

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A long time ago I was watching an episode of the Barefoot Contessa and she was making chicken salad. You know, preparing for one of her fabulous picnic lunches at the beach with her guy friends or playing bridge with the boys, drinking champagne cocktails and eating homemade blinis with smoked salmon… I want to be her. Who wouldn’t love her life? Anyway, she was making chicken salad and had this genius method to make the chicken. Whole bone-in chicken breasts, rubbed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in the oven on a sheet pan. Perfect every time. I stole that method for my chicken salad here.

I’ve seen many chicken salad recipes that call for poaching the chicken. I just can’t deal with the chicken simmering in water thing. Smelly, but happy memories of the apartment building my great-grandmother lived in has me scarred. For some reason it always smelled like boiled chicken. Is that a Jewish thing, boiling chickens? Oy Gevalt!

I also don’t always love the rotisserie chickens pre-made from the grocery store, though I know they can be a great shortcut. So this is my solution… successful every time, from scratch, super simple chicken salad. You can make chicken this way to toss in salads, like a cobb salad or chicken Caesar salad, or for any other recipe that calls for cooked chicken breast.

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INGREDIENTS

  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 4 bone-in chicken breasts (about 2lbs)
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup light mayo (please use Hellman’s)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard

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  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan skin side up. Loosen the skin gently on each breast and tuck a small sprig of thyme under the skin.
  3. Drizzle a little olive oil over each one and sprinkle kosher salt and pepper on each breast. Using your hands, rub it evenly all over the chicken.
  4. Place the sheet pan in the oven on the center rack and roast for about 35-40 minutes depending on how big your chicken breasts are. I use a meat thermometer and check them at 30 minutes. They are done when they reach 165 degrees.
  5. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove the sheet pan from the oven and set it aside allowing the chicken to cool completely.
  6. When they have cooled, remove the meat from each chicken breast, discarding the bones and skin. Cut the meat into large bite sized pieces.
  7. In a large bowl, place the cubed chicken with the mayo, chopped parsley and Dijon mustard. Stir well to combine and season with salt and pepper.

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Enjoy!

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