Friday, January 20, 2012
One of my favorite tv chefs premiered his new cooking show last night - Michael Symon's Symon's Suppers. We've loved watching him on Iron Chef and pretty much anything else he's on. Not only does he cook like we do - lots of flavor - but he's got such a fantastic personality. Connie and I were both exhausted and staying up until 10:00 was a major effort. I know, what babies! Let me tell you, the show was well worth it! He made an incredible roasted chicken with salsa verde. Along side he did fried smashed potatoes. Oh, and a chocolate pudding cup. Dessert is not our bag. Roasted chicken is. And, smashed potatoes. Since we'd not been to the grocery in more than two weeks, it was time. We bought a chicken and some parsley and tarragon. Everything else we had.
Now, Friday night is date night for us. Connie used to play bridge on Fridays but has switched to Mondays. It means we actually get to either spend a lovely evening at home or go someplace fun like First Friday - a wander around some art galleries. Since we were supposed to have freezing rain staying home sounded like a MUCH better idea. And, since I didn't have to be at the office at the crack of dawn it didn't matter when we ate. Time to roast a chicken.
What did we think? This went together really easily. I actually made some gravy from the pan juices. We didn't need it. Let me tell you about the salsa verde. Connie loves mustard. I love gravy. No, in both cases the word is LOVE. Connie says, "This is almost as good as mustard." I'm pretty much doing a Meg Ryan on my side of the table. The salsa verde is seriously good. It could be used for many dishes. Connie was worried that it'd be too spicy with the jalapeno and crushed red pepper. Nope. It was perfect. The only problem was the recipe called for the chicken to be pulled from the oven to rest when the thigh reached 160F. That meant the legs and breast were undercooked. I wound up putting the roughly chopped chicken back in the oven for 12 minutes to cook it through. My advice would be to aim for 170F. When we finally had fully cooked chicken, we loved this dish. Another note - the recipe called for salting the chicken then refrigerating it overnight. I didn't have that luxury. I don't think it suffered a bit for the lack of the overnight salting.
Along with the chicken, Michael deep fried smashed potatoes in bacon fat. He said that was his favorite fat. I declared mine to be duck fat so mine were drizzled with duck fat and roasted. They wound up brown and crispy and fantastic. They're very easy to make. Just boil potatoes until they're smashable, smash them, drizzle them with duck fat. Then, top with some salt and freshly ground pepper and roast them for about 20 minutes.
Connie would like for me to try them deep fried in duck fat. I don't think that's on the menu. But, drizzled and roasted. Absolutely!
Roasted Chicken with Salsa Verde
4-5 pound chicken
1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
2 fresh bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small onion, quartered
1 small bunch fresh thyme
2 T olive oil
for the salsa verde:
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 T capers, chopped
2 T fresh tarragon, chopped
1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
2 anchovies, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
grated zest and juice of one lemon
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 shallot, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat your oven to 425. Rinse and dry the chicken. Gently lift the skin from the breast. Tuck in lemon slices and the bay leaves.
Into the cavity put the rest of the lemon slices, the onion quarters, the garlic cloves and the thyme. (I left the thyme out and didn't miss it in the least.)
LIberally salt the chicken. Slather the chicken with the olive oil. Bake it at 425F until the temperature in the thigh measures 170F.
While the chicken is roasting make the salsa verde. Combine all of the ingredients and set aside to allow the flavors to marry.
Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to sit for 10 minutes so the juices can redistribute. Serve with the salsa verde.