How shall I roast my chicken tonight? Suggestions pls!
My husband bought a huge chicken so I want tasty leftovers. I'm exhausted after a big night out so can't be bothered to trawl cookbooks. I have some tarragon, lemons, tomatoes, potatoes are peeled and ready for roasting or mashing, rosemary, parsley. I was going to do braised veg with a little smoky bacon on the side. Any thoughts?
it's very hot here and this all sounds kind of heavy.
i'd steam the spuds, meanwhile chop the tomatoes and soak them in the zest and juice of the lemons, adding salt and pepper to draw out some liquid. add extra virgin olive oil and rice vinegar if it needs more acid. when the potatoes are cooked, remove from the heat. add the chopped tarragon to the tomatoes. toss the warm spuds in the tomato vinagrette and keep at room temp while the bird cooks.
if you have any greens, you can serve them under the potato-tomato salad.
for the chicken dry the skin extremely well. salt generously. slather dijon mustard all over and sprinkle some dried thyme and black pepper over that and pop in the oven.
If you have time right now, rub the chicken with lots of salt to dry it out a little. It will cook up to be a really juicy bird, with crispy skin, if you dry brine it first.
After doing so, I find I don't need a lot of seasonings to make the bird taste good, it is seasoned through. So I stuff the cavity with lemons, herbs like rosemary or thyme sprigs.
Your menu sounds good as is. You can roast the potatoes along with the chicken, they pick up some fat and get crispy and tasty. A braised green bean would be nice, with your bacon on top. Or mash the potatoes with the bacon in it, some stock or drippings from the roasting pan.
And speaking of, I always do a quick au jus with that leftover fond in the pan. Drain off most of the fat, but keep the brown bits. Deglaze with white wine or vinegar or lemon juice, whatever's handy, a cup or two of broth then simmer it til it reduces a little. Add the juice from the cutting board where the bird's resting, some more acid, I like balsamic, then swirl in a little butter, off the heat. Just delicious on the chicken and potatoes, one of our favorite dinners.
Here's my favorite, copied from my recipe folder. So simple, and the chicken comes out great every time.
My Favorite Simple Roast Chicken
adopted from Thomas Keller, Bouchon
One 5 lb or so typical chicken (Can do 2 chickens at once if they fit on top of your broiler pan)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 or 3 potatoes
one large onion
Preheat the oven to 450̊F. Rinse the chicken. Dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.
Salt and pepper the cavity. Truss bird with cooking twine.
Salt outside of chicken liberally with a Tbsp or so of kosher salt. Season with black pepper.
Line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil.
Slice (into about 1/4 inch rounds) 2 or 3 potatoes (skin on) and an onion. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread combination on the foil in bottom of broiler pan.
Place slotted top on broiler pan. Spray with cooking spray. Place chicken on top.
Roast all until chicken is done, about 1:15 to 160+ in breast and 180 in thigh. Remove from oven and let chicken rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
Potatoes and Gravy
When you remove the chicken to rest, pour off the excess drippings in the bottom of the broiler pan into a heavy skillet. Remove the potatoes and keep warm. I usually put them in a bowl and park it in the microwave.
Heat the drippings over medium heat and make a gravy with a little flour, salt and pepper, and more liquid (such as beer or stock).
Carve chicken. Serve with potatoes and gravy.
thanks, I made this a while back but didn't use enough potato so they burned ;-( and meant to try again with more potatoes. anyway will try again another time. I'm doing ina garten roast chicken, but with rosemary and potatoes. It really is a big bird, I don't know what my husband was thinking.