January 20, 2015 – Roasted Chicken, with Lemon, Thyme, and Shallots

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So, our plans for last week worked out great…until Wednesday morning, when Tony woke up with a horrible head cold that tormented him for the rest of the week. Without much of an appetite, and with impaired taste buds, he didn’t feel like doing much cooking or eating, so we stuck to ordering in simple comfort food. We did have a lovely anniversary dinner at Chef George Mendes’ Aldea in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood, where we enjoyed a variety of Iberian-inspired dishes, like croquetas de bacalhau (cod fish croquettes); mussel soup, with wild mussels, fennel, chorizo, and a coconut-curry broth; arroz de pato
(duck confit with chorizo, black olives, citrus purée, and duck cracklings); and cinnamon rice pudding.

The one dish we did make last week was really very good, so what we lost in quantity we feel we more than made up for in quality: Roasted Chicken with Lemon, Thyme, and Shallots from the The Yellow Table Cookbook. (Please note that the first link will take you to a recipe that is very similar to the one we made, but that uses a whole chicken instead of a cut up chicken.) We enjoyed this on Monday night and again as leftovers Saturday night and it’s a dish we know we’ll be coming back to. Here’s how Tony did it:

The first step in this recipe is to marinate the chicken. I placed the cut up chicken in a 2-gallon resealable plastic bag and added the lemon juice, olive oil, shallots, garlic and thyme. (We also had some rosemary in the fridge, so I added a couple of small sprigs of that as well.) I sealed the bag and then shook and kneaded it to mix the chicken and marinade together, then let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes. While the chicken marinated, I preheated the oven to 450 degrees and also sliced up a lemon, which is used a little later in the recipe.

I laid the chicken pieces in a foil-lined roasting pan and drizzled the marinade, along with the garlic, shallots, thyme, and rosemary, on top. I sprinkled on plenty of salt and pepper and laid the lemon slices on t0p. I put the chicken into the oven until the internal temperature read 165 degrees on a meat thermometer, which took about 40 minutes. I then broiled the chicken for a minute or two to crisp up the skin a bit; I probably could have left it under the broiler another minute or two, but it smelled so good it was hard to wait any longer.

The recipe also calls for making a sauce inside the roasting pan by placing the pan over high heat and adding some white wine and later butter to the pan juices. I wanted to minimize clean up, which is why I lined the pan with foil, so I just poured the pan juices into a sauté pan and worked in that.

The chicken was cooked perfectly – the skin was crisp but the meat was juicy and tender. The sauce came out great and helped keep the chicken moist. We (fortunately!) had some French bread in the freezer, so we didn’t miss out on any of the sauce. The sweetness of the shallots helped balance out the tartness of the lemon juice in the sauce and the herbs gave everything a We paired this up with a wine we 2012 Grauer Burgunder, a German white wine we had never had before and  that our friends at Wines by the Flask suggested. Their recommendation, as always, was spot on – the wine was crisp and dry with more than enough acid to balance out the fat in the sauce. It was a wonderful dinner – both Monday night when we first made it and Saturday night when we had it as leftovers – and a great way to start and end the week.

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