Saturday, December 15, 2012

Crispy Rosemary Roast Chicken and Potatoes

The first time I made a dish using organic chickens, I went crazy and did a chicken ballottine which I proceeded to cook it until it was bone dry. That's no way to tell if organic chickens are better than the polluted chickens. This recipe, not unlike the earlier roast chickens, should be a definitive way to make the "is organic chicken better" determination.

Crispy Rosemary Roast Chicken and Potatoes
adapted from Cooking Club of America
click to print

2 large onions, cut into 1-inch wedges
1 (4 1/2-lb.) chicken, patted dry
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened, divided
4 (4-inch) springs fresh rosemary
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
3/4 tsp pepper, divided
3 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, divided
1 1/2 lb. assorted fingerling potatoes (red, white, yellow and/or purple), unpeeled, halved or quartered if large

Heat oven to 425ºF.

Place onions in large shallow roasting pan.

Slip fingers under skin of chicken over breast meat to make a pocket. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the butter under skin in pocket; arrange rosemary sprigs over butter under skin in pocket.

Tuck wings behind back; place chicken, breast-side up, over onions.

Spread remaining 2 tablespoons butter over outside of chicken; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the chopped rosemary, pressing lightly to adhere.

Bake 20 minutes.

Turn chicken breast-side down.

Arrange potatoes around chicken; sprinkle potatoes with remaining 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Bake an additional 20 minutes.

Turn chicken breast-side up; stir potatoes and onions.

Bake an additional 20 minutes or until internal temperature of thickest part of thigh reaches 170ºF. to 175ºF.

Let stand in warm place 10 minutes before carving. Serve with potatoes and onions.

While the chicken rested, the potatoes went back into the oven for a few minutes. Some of them weren't quite perfectly tender.

Oh yeah, roast chicken on a cold night is just heaven. The chicken turned out very well, the skin very crispy (yum!!!) and the meat tender. Even though there was quite a lot of rosemary on the breasts, the essence was noticeable throughout the chicken yet wasn't overpowering. While it looked pretty at presentation under the breast, I didn't feel compelled in the least bit to eat the wilted rosemary sprigs. They weren't even close to appetizing when removed from beneath the skin. They were pretty gross looking.

Any juices on the chicken platter were saved to drizzle over the remaining chicken leftovers. It's excellent.

Finishing the potatoes while the chicken rested worked well. The few that were still a little too firm softened, all of them browned nicely. Fingerling potatoes, based on this dish and the first time I used them, have surpassed the Russet as my all-time favorite. These little fingers have a buttery flavor already, but when they take up buttery chicken juices and brown, they become little pillows of perfect.

If there is a difference between organic and non-organic chickens, it's subtle. Real subtle.

  • onions: $0.52
  • chicken: $11.36
  • unsalted butter: $0.24
  • fresh rosemary: $1
  • fingerling potatoes: $2.99
Total: $16.11, or about $4.03 for each of four generous servings of chicken and small portions of vegetables.