We made Half Baked Harvest’s One-Pot Herb Roasted Chicken with Butter Toasted Wild Rice a few weeks ago, but as we haven’t stopped thinking about it since then, we needed to write it up and share how much we enjoyed it. Here’s what Tony did:
Before I start, I just have to say how unbelievably good this dish was. We were expecting a nice, comforting meal, but I swear this dinner actually gave us a hug. It is only a slight exaggeration to say I’ve thought about this dinner every day since we made it. It’s very simple to make, but the flavors are really complex and very well-balanced. You get earthy from the mushrooms, nutty from the wild rice and orzo, and sweet from the carrots, onion, and brown sugar. All of this is combined with the floral notes from the mix of herbs. Let’s not forget the moist, flavorful chicken.
The prep for this dish was very easy. I first did what you might call the “large-scale prep” by cleaning (but not cutting up) the mushrooms, slicing the carrots, and cutting the onion into quarters and the head of garlic into halves. The small-scale prep involved chopping up the parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. If you factor in measuring out everything else in the recipe (brown sugar, butter, orzo and rice, chicken stock, and lots of other tasty things), I probably spent 30 minutes doing not-so-difficult prep work. Because I wanted to get everything prepped and ready to go before I started cooking, the only challenge was finding enough counter space on which to put everything.
After patting the chicken dry with paper towels and tossing it very well with a mix of olive oil, thyme, rosemary, brown sugar, salt, and pepper, I was ready to start cooking. I added the chicken four pieces at a time (I was using a whole chicken cut into eight pieces) to the hot oil in the Dutch over and let it brown for about 2 minute per side. (This wasn’t a terribly messy step, but the splatter shield came in handy!)
I added some butter to the pan, where it mixed with the remaining oil and whatever fat had rendered from the chicken and used all of that to toast the orzo and then the wild rice. I added the carrots and mushrooms to the pot next and cooked those for a few minutes. For the last step, I added all the liquid to the pot (chicken broth and beer), scraped up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and took the pot off the heat.
The rest of the recipe was very simple. I placed the chicken on top of the rice, drizzled it with lemon juice, and seasoned it with salt and pepper. I added the onion and garlic to the pot and placed the remaining butter (about eight big pats) on top of the chicken. I threw in a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary and put the pot with lid on into the oven for about 45 minutes. I checked the internal temperate of the chicken with meat thermometer and when I saw it was done, I put the pot back in the oven with the lid off for about five minutes to crisp up the chicken a little bit.
Like I said, this was a tremendously satisfying dinner and one that we’ll come back to again soon. We did not make the cider drizzle, but we definitely will next time. We paired this up with a very hoppy IPA for a great dinner.