Finally! After days and days of gray, rainy, cold days – we’ve finally gotten a fairly spring-like day. Partly sunny and – if you believe the weather man – it will be in the 70’s today. While I should be out in the garden today, I’m feeling a bit lazy. Yesterday The Dude and I went to the third annual Brewfest in Michigan City, Indiana. Let’s put it this way – it’s the first time I was not the designated driver. Suffice to say I enjoyed the full range of brews on hand. There were some very good beers – I especially enjoyed the Downtown English Brown Ale from a great local brewer, Iechyd Da (pronounced Yacky Dah). I learned that Iechyd Da is a Welsh toast, similar to Cheers, Salute, or the ever popular Here’s Mud in Your Eye! What do I know? They have some great beer!
Due to the celebratory nature yesterday, I woke up this morning, grabbed some coffee, and plopped down in the living room, hell-bent on doing very little. Of course, I turned on the Cooking Channel looking for some inspiration. I found it! A lovely roasted chicken with potatoes, carrots and herbs. Courtesy of Jaimie Deen, the adorable son of the equally adorable Paula Deen. It’s easy and tasty. Can I say that this dish feels very “French Bistro?” Simple and oh so tasty and PERFECT for a lovely spring day. Let’s get cookin’!
Butterflied Roasted Chicken with Vegetables
- 1 chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 fingerling potatoes, cut in half horizontally
- 2 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 large shallot, peeled and sliced in half through the root
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon butter
Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and remove the innards from the cavity. Pat dry with paper towels. Let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and make sure the rack is in the center of the oven.
Use kitchen shears to cut out the backbone of the chicken. You can do this with a heavy chef’s knife, but take it from me, the scissors make quick work of the task.
Lay your chicken open like a book on your work surface, skin-side up. Flatten the chicken with your hands with firm pressure; you should hear a cracking noise. Sprinkle the chicken with the rosemary and fennel seeds, and liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down, and sear until golden brown, about 5 minutes. While the skin side is searing, sprinkle the other side with rosemary, fennel, salt and pepper.
While the chicken is searing, add the potatoes, carrots and shallot to a bowl along with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss well, making sure that all the vegetables are coated well with the oil. Flip the chicken and add the vegetables to the skillet.
Roast the chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove the chicken to a cutting board to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables to a platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
Meanwhile, place the skillet over a burner and set to medium heat. Add the white wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir in chicken broth. Reduce by half, or until the gravy coats the back of a spoon. Swirl in the butter at the end of simmering for a richer taste and glossiness.
Carve the chicken into pieces and serve with the vegetables and the gravy.