Soak | Roast Chicken, Potatoes & Garlic
As I sit here typing, the windows have darkened over and the swollen clouds in the sky are releasing another strong downpour. The earth is soaked from a winter of rain, but this last week has been particularly stormy, and it almost seems as if there is no end in sight.
I continue to gravitate toward dishes that can be prepared in the oven, hearty meals that promise crispy skin, succulent meat, and fork-tender potatoes.
The simple genius behind the roast chicken is that you can create an amazing meal with just a handful of ingredients and minimal preparation. As I buttered the bird and salt and peppered its dimply skin, I thought of the Parisian farmer’s markets, where the towers of rotisserie chickens dripped juices onto the potatoes roasting below. At that moment, I began to peel my potatoes and tossed them into the roasting pan along with whole garlic cloves to let them roast and absorb the chicken-y flavors. As the oven worked its magic, I could smell the chicken soaking into the potatoes and the sweet garlic popping out of its blistering skin.
All I needed now was a simple salad. With a meal like this, I was happy to let the rain pour.
[note title="Roast Chicken, Potatoes & Garlic " align="left" width="625"] Serves 4-6
- 1 5- to 6-lb chicken
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- kosher salt freshly ground black pepper
- aromatics for the cavity
- half a lemon
- half an onion, quartered
- garlic cloves, peeled
- (Use whatever you have on hand. Fresh herbs work nicely, too.)
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3-4 potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
- 1 head of garlic, cloves separated
- flat leaf Italian parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Allow the chicken to rest at room temperature for a half hour prior to baking.
Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Season the cavity with salt and pepper. Insert aromatics into the cavity and tie the drumsticks with kitchen twine. Bend the wings back and tuck under the bird. Using a pastry brush, butter the skin evenly and thoroughly. Season the skin generously with salt and pepper.
In a large roasting pan, toss the potatoes and garlic cloves in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the potatoes around the chicken, creating a nest around the bird.
Roast in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature of the chicken breast is 170°F. Let the chicken rest 10 minutes before carving. [/note]