Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Herb and Garlic Roasted Poulet Rouge

I'm seasonally confused right now. Allegedly, it's spring here, but the calendar month certainly seems like it should be fall. The weather's not a straight-forward indication either: yesterday it was 32C outside and today it's only 15C. Our vegetable box seems to be sharing my seasonal confusion as we keep getting sweet potatoes and kale, so I find my cooking continually veering towards fall. This dish in particular feels like I veered towards Thanksgiving, especially after I paired it with a roasted sweet potato recipe from Ottolenghi and wilted kale from Nopi. Perhaps it's a good thing though that it was a mini-Thanksgiving feast since I'll be spending Thanksgiving in Madrid and this chicken exceeded my expectations for flavor. Crispy skin, bright herbs, plenty of garlic, and oh so moist. Maybe I should've expected that based on the amount of butter? But my immediate reaction was that I need to make this recipe again. That doesn't happen too often, especially with chicken! It does require a bit of planning ahead because ideally you want to brine the chicken the night before, but nothing is terribly complex. If the amounts feel odd, it's because the brine was originally meant for a turkey (multiply by five for a turkey!) and I scaled down to 1 chicken (the original recipe calls for two).

One year ago: Braised Pork Shoulder with Pears and Thyme
Two years ago: Steamed Fish Curry
Three years ago: Chicken Fricassee
Four years ago: Chipped Beets and Beet Greens
Five years ago: Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake
Six years ago: Chocolate Layer Cake

Herb and Garlic Roasted Poulet Rouge (from Pickles, Pigs, and Whiskey)

8 cups very warm water
7/10 cup salt
4/5 cup Worcestershire sauce
4 sprigs thyme
2 dried bay leaves
1.6 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1/5 cup hot sauce
1.6 tbsp black peppercorns, toasted and crushed
1 whole chicken (3 to 4 lbs)
3/8 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 tsp salt, divided
2 tsp freshly ground pepper, divided
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced mixed fresh herbs of your choice (I think I had closer to 3)
1/2 large yellow onion, quartered
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp all-purpose flour

1. To make the brine: In a pot large enough to hold the chicken, combine water and salt and stir until it has dissolved. Stir in Worcestershire, thyme, bay leaves, sage, hot sauce, and peppercorns.
2. Remove the giblets from the chicken and submerge in brine. Add more water if bird is not fully covered. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 425F.
4. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry.
5. Mix butter with 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, minced garlic, and fresh herbs. Set 1 1/2 tbsp of flavored butter aside. Rub the rest of the butter under the skin of the chickens (above the breasts).
6. Toss onion, celery, sliced garlic, thyme, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper with olive oil in a bowl. Stuff chicken cavity with mixture.
7. Rub outside of chicken with reserved 1 1/2 tbsp flavored butter and place chicken in a baking dish.
8. Bake for 20 minutes or until skin changes color.
9. Lower heat to 375F and cook for additional 20 minutes or until thigh reaches an internal temperature of 160F.
10. Turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes until chicken is a rich brown.
11. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before carving.
12. Pour cooking juices into a small saucepan and slowly whisk in flower over medium heat until gravy thickens.
13. Serve gravy over roasted chicken.

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