Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Garlic Rosemary Roast Chicken with Potatoes

This is seriously some of the best chicken we've ever had.
This did take a while (mostly waiting), but what a great recipe! I made a darn good turkey last Thanksgiving *pats self on back* and I knew I could roast another bird. Since it was for just 2 of us, I picked up a 4-5 lb. chicken and found this recipe from The Lazy Housewife Cooks. I made very few modifications, and followed her suggestions of letting the bird air out after brining to yield a crispier skin, and using a roasting rack to roast the chicken on so that air could circulate around the bird while cooking.

Garlic Rosemary Roast Chicken with Redskin Potatoes
This recipe can be scaled by how big of a chicken you buy; we had enough here to feed 4-5 people easily, I would suggest adding a vegetable to serve as well (I forgot to make the green beans I was planning on).

1/2 cup of table salt
10 garlic cloves, unpeeled (I peeled mine, it was just weird to me to put the papery skin in the brine)
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), trimmed of excess fat, chicken rinsed and patted dry, giblets removed and reserved for another use (My chicken was about 4.75 lbs, I left most of the excess fat on so the pan drippings would help season the potatoes, I forgot to rinse and pat dry, and the giblets went right into the trash)

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves (I used about 1 Tbsp.)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed (I used 4 cloves)
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 pounds red or Yukon gold potatoes (I used 2 lbs. redskin potatoes)
10 peeled garlic cloves (You could easily double this. I couldn't stop eating the roasted garlic cloves from the bottom of the pan. Sooo yummy!)
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


1. BRINING THE CHICKEN: Combine the salt, garlic, and rosemary in a Ziploc bag; seal, pressing out the air. With a meat pounder or rolling pin, pound the garlic cloves until crushed. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, stockpot, or Dutch oven and stir in 2 cups of hot water; let stand 10 minutes to release flavors. Add 1 1/2 quarts cold water and stir until the salt is dissolved. Immerse the chicken in the brine, cover, and refrigerate 1 hour. (I set mine outside for 2 hours - it was about 30 deg here, and it didn't fit in the fridge!)

2. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. (Ideally, this is where you want t
he chicken to air out so you get a crispier skin. I let the chicken sit on a paper towel lined plate in the fridge for about 4 hours, rotating it and patting dry every so often.) Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Set a V-rack in a small roasting pan and lightly spray the rack with nonstick cooking spray.

3. THE PASTE: Stir the rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil together in a small bowl. Rub about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the paste in the cavity of the chicken. Carefully loosen the skin over the breast and thigh on each side: slip half of the remaining paste under the skin on each side of the breast, then rub the remaining paste over the surface of the skin of the rest of the chicken. Tie the end of the drumsticks together with kitchen twine and tuck the wings behind the back. Set the chicken, breast-side down, on the prepared V-rack and roast 15 minutes.

4. THE POTATOES: While the chicken is roasting, quarter the potatoes; then toss the potatoes, peeled garlic cloves, olive oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. After the chicken has roasted 15 minutes, scatter the potato mixture in a single layer in the roasting pan and roast for another 15 minutes.

5. Remove the roasting pan from the oven; decrease the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Using tongs or wads of paper towels, rotate the chicken breast-side up. Stir the potatoes. Continue to roast until the chicken is medium golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast and thigh registers about 160 to 170 degrees, respectively, 20 to 25 minutes, adding more water to the roasting pan if the liquid evaporates. Transfer the chicken to a large plate. (My chicken took about 35 more minutes to reach 165 degrees.)

6. While the chicken rests, transfer the potatoes and garlic to a large serving bowl (resisting eating all the garlic in the process). Carve the chicken and serve with the potatoes and garlic. Enjoy!

Two thumbs up from both of us! This was a very moist and flavorful chicken, we will definitely make this again!

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