This chicken turned out so well it will be going onto my running list of “my favorite ways to roast a chicken” I feel if I master the method of roasting a chicken to perfection I can declare quietly to myself “now you can cook”
There was a time factor last night and I was under a little pressure to not dilly-dally over anything too fussy. My husband had worked like a fiend all weekend and our friend Tom had helped him right when he needed it. It was not a question of what to cook, but how to cook it? I was out all day with the kids and before I left, had plonked a frozen chicken onto the counter top.
I decided to roast it a little differently. I usually opt for a high temperature which works well but I wanted to try lowering it a little and see the results (which actually made the cooking time longer, and me apparently forget or, not care more about my hungry family than conquering this bird – oh well..).
I went down the truly simple road as far as ingredients was concerned – just garlic, rosemary (which I only had because my friend Lori brought me back some fabulous looking stems from a market in NYC, which I vowed not to waste!) and white wine. I rubbed on a little Dijon mustard on the skin halfway through the cooking time and it helped the flavors along in the best possible way.
I also did not want any complicated sides dishes, or rice, or pasta, and, I did have some lovely parsnips I was dying to use? A little bed of parsnip puree would add a lovely sweetness and silky texture to the meal, so, that was decided. Since everything was “white” I rounded the dish out with the simplest of salads.
The chicken was so juicy, from the breast to the wing – absolutely one of the best chickens I have ever roasted. Along with the dreamy puree and the crunch of the salad, and, of course a nice glass of wine, we dined on a little bit of heaven.
You will Need: 1 31/2 – 4lb whole chicken, 1 head garlic, cloves separated, unpeeled, 3 sprigs rosemary, 1/2 cup white wine, water, 1/4 cup & 2 tbs heavy cream, 5 good-sized parsnips, peeled & sliced, 2 tbs unsalted butter (1 tbs should be softened), 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Preheat oven 400*
1 – Wash and dry chicken. In pan big enough to hold chicken add the wine, 1/2 cup water, garlic cloves and 2 rosemary sprigs.
2 – Place chicken on top of everything and rub the 1 tbs of softened butter over the entire chicken. Insert last sprig of rosemary into chicken cavity and season bird with coarse salt and some generous grinds of pepper. Place in oven and time for 40 minutes.
3 – In the meantime, make the parsnip puree: Place the sliced parsnips in a pot and cover with cold water. Cover and bring to a boil. When it boils, time for 10 minutes, after which time start checking to see if they are soft. When a sharp knife tip pierces them easily, they are ready to be drained. Drain and put into a food processor along with 1/2 tsp salt, several grinds of pepper, 1 tbs butter and 2 tbs heavy cream. Blend until smooth. Return to a small clean saucepan and cover. Ten minutes before ready to serve warm the puree up slowly on stove-top.
4 – When chicken has cooked for 40 minutes, take out and baste with the juices. Whisk the teaspoon of mustard with the tablespoon of oil and rub over the entire chicken skin with the back of a spoon. Turn heat down to 375* and add a 1/2 cup of water to the pan. Return to oven for another 40 minutes or until juices run clear when pierced with a knife between the thigh and the breast. Remove chicken to a plate and tent with foil.
5 – Remove garlic cloves from skin and mash with a fork. Put pan you cooked the chicken in ( with the chicken juices) on low/medium heat and add the mashed garlic, and heavy cream. Stir well and let it get hot.If you want to add more water, do so at this time.
To serve: spoon some pan sauce onto bottom of warmed plate and a serving of parsnip puree. Cut the chicken and place on top of, or, alongside the puree. I also made a green salad of romaine leaves with a balsamic mustard dressing.