A lot of the chicken recipes I post take a little time – there is brining, marinading and slow cooking that can add several hours or an overnight soak to the preparation period. Sometimes, however, I don’t really have nor want to spend that sort of time.
For tonight’s dinner, I took a recipe from Thomas Keller as my starting point. His recipe is basically four ingredients (chicken, salt, pepper, thyme) cooked on top of root vegetables. Not being a real vegetable fan, I’m sticking with just potatoes and Vidalia onions. Being a rosemary fan, I’m switching that for the thyme.
This is a recipe that really benefits from using a mandolin slicer to ensure uniform thickness on the potatoes and onions.
Crispy Chicken with Potatoes and Onions
4 tablespoons butter
(1/2 stick), melted
4 or 5 Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced into 1/8 inch rounds
1 large sweet onion like Vidalia, thinly sliced
One 3-5 lb whole chicken
2 tablespoons of rosemary salt
freshly ground black pepper
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you begin preparation.
Make rosemary salt by mixing 2 tablespoons of kosher salt with three tablespoons of finely chopped rosemary leaves. Store any remaining in an airtight container for later use.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Pour 1 tablespoon of butter in the bottom of a roasting pan and spread to coat the bottom and sides. Toss the potato rounds with the rest of the melted butter. Layer the potatoes all around the bottom of the pan. Scatter the onions over the potatoes. Set aside and prepare the chicken.
Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels. Cut out the backbone and wings and press down so it lays flat. Sprinkle the rosemary salt in the opened cavity.
Now, rain about 1 tablespoon of the rosemary salt over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin. Add pepper to taste.
Place the chicken on top of the potatoes and onions in the pan and put it in the oven. Walk away and just leave it alone. Don’t baste it or cover it. Doing so would create steam, which would keep the skin from getting crispy. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are golden brown, about an hour. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
Slice and serve with the potatoes and onions.