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Chez Panisse Herb Roasted Chicken

Preparation 00:15 Cook Time 01:20 Total Time 1:35
Serves 8     adjust servings

This big recipe is perfect for a casual dinner party or to feed a small family 2 or 3 times throughout the week. If you're spacing it out, buy the second baguette on the day you plan to serve it. Leftover chicken is good cold or reheated.

Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 2 whole chickens, 3 to 4 pounds each
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary needles
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the dressing

  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the gravy

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

To serve

  • 2 baguettes, sliced
  • Mixed greens

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center. Remove any giblets and pat chickens dry with paper towels. Set the chickens on a rack in a large roasting pan, breast side up, and cut away and discard the two pockets of fat tucked just inside the opening to each chicken’s cavity.

Combine the rosemary, thyme, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil in a mortar, and smash it all into a paste with the pestle. (Alternatively, use the side of a chef’s knife to smash it all together.) Divide the paste between the two chickens and rub it all over the skin.

Roast the chicken for 20 minutes with the breast side up. Then flip it and cook 20 minutes more, breast side down. Turn it over again and cook for an additional 20 minutes, breast side up. For a smaller chicken, this may be all the time you need. If it’s closer to 4 pounds, you’ll need an additional 20 or so minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165° F.

While the chicken roasts, whisk together the shallot, vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper to make the dressing.

Lay the baguette slices in a single layer on a sheet pan or two and brush each with a little bit of the dressing. When the chickens are cooked, let them rest on a cutting board, tented with foil, for 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and place the sheet pans inside so the bread toasts a bit from the residual heat.

While the chickens rest, set the roasting pan over medium-high heat on a burner (or two) on the stovetop. Whisk the flour into the pan drippings to form a paste. Then pour in the stock and whisk until there are no lumps. Simmer briskly for 5 to 10 minutes, lowering heat as necessary, until gravy is as thick as you like.

To serve, place some simple greens on each plate, arrange a piece of chicken and a few garlic croutons on top, and drizzle as liberally as you like with both dressing and gravy.

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