You would think that after the Thanksgiving feast and accompanying leftovers I would be slightly fatigued with the poultry family. Not so!
I was ever so excited to see a new roasted chicken recipe via Peter @Kalofagas on Twitter and forwarded it to my dear pal A___, as any good friend does, she completely shares my obsession with chicken. When she phoned me yesterday saying she intended to make it for dinner last night I hopped on the bus and presented myself at her doorstep and we proceeded to make an amazing dinner.
This recipe has some of my favorite herbs, lemon verbena and tarragon, which I had never conceived to combine with roast chicken. The herbs with the lemon and olive oil is really superb. Between A___ and Rabbit we devoured the chicken in its entirety (almost, there was a wing left) and also consumed a vat of creamy mashed potatoes and green beans with browned butter and sliced almonds. Heaven! Then we relaxed in front of the fire with the snores of giant doggies and finished the wine, happy with this cold winter evening and the company of great friends.
Kalofagas’s Crispy Roast Chicken With Tarragon and Lemon Verbena (with HAL adaptations)
1 whole chicken, ~4.5 pounds
3 T fresh tarragon
2 T fresh lemon verbena, chopped (or 1 1/2 tsp dried)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T olive oil
1/3 cup + 1 T dry white wine,
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. corn starch
1 minced shallot
2 T port
Oven at 400.
Wash and dry chicken. Combine olive oil, half of the garlic, 1 1/2 T of tarragon and 1 T of lemon verbena. Juice the lemon into a separate bowl. Into the chicken cavity put remaining garlic, herbs, the lemon husks plus a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Truss well.
Massage in the oil and herb mixture onto the chicken and season generously with salt and pepper on all sides. Place on a roasting pan with a rack. Pour over half of the lemon juice and put 1/2 c of hot water into a corner of the roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, add another 1/2 cup hot water to the roasting pan and reduce the heat to 375. Roast for another 30 minutes.
After 1 hour total roasting time, remove chicken from oven and tilt the bird so that the juices from the body cavity drip into the roasting pan. Repeat for the juices in the neck. Add a little more lemon juice to the pan and more hot water, and roast until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 in the breast and thigh. For our chicken last night this took an additional 40 minutes.
Remove the chicken to a tray, cover with foil and a kitchen towel and let rest 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove roasting rack from the pan, and spoon off any accumulated fat from the pan. Deglaze the pan with 1/3 c wine, scraping down the browned bits into the drippings and add the shallot. Add water drained from mashed potato preparations if there aren’t enough juices to make a gravy (I like 1 1/2 cup total liquid), simmering for 10 minutes or so. Taste for salt and pepper. We added a dash of port to the gravy as well. In a small bowl mix remaining 1 T wine with cornstarch, combine well, stir into boiling gravy and whisk to incorporate. Let simmer for a minute or two, then pour into a warmed gravy boat, reserving 2 T of gravy in the pan.
Carve the chicken and mix any accumulated chicken juices on the platter with the the reserved gravy and glaze the top of the chicken with this thinned gravy.
Serves 3 very hungry people, or 4 people normally.
(original recipe here)
I have some terrific meals planned this week but I fear they will pale in comparison to this lovely dinner.