Sunday Roast Chicken
Chef Seamus Mullen shares this delicious and healthy recipe with us from his new book, Hero Food. Be sure to catch Seamus in our section about cooking with healthy and anti-inflammatory foods!
“There’s nothing quite like a roast chicken to end the weekend. Plus, leftover leg meat, pulled apart and folded into some aioli, make delicious chicken salad sandwiches and the carcass can be salvaged to make an easy, delicious stock. The main problem with cooking birds is that the breast and the leg require completely different cooking times, the classic catch-22: perfectly cooked breast and raw legs or succulent legs and leathery breast. Fear not! Science prevails! Here’s a terrifically simple way to make sure you end up with a juicy bird that perfectly cooked on all four corners! By cooking it at two temperatures the legs slowly cook, breaking down all the connective tissue that makes the meat tougher, and the breast isn’t exposed to high heat for a long time. At the very end, by cranking up the temperature, you get a nice golden, crispy skin.” – Seamus Mullen
- 1 3–5 pound roasting chicken, brined overnight
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 lemons, cut into quarters
- 1 head garlic, 1 clove set aside and the rest peeled and lightly crushed
- A handful each of fresh basil and tarragon
- 7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 loaf country bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 shallot, sliced paper thin on a mandoline
- 1 quart mixed heirloom tomatoes, cut into rustic 1-inch chunks
- A healthy shot of sweet sherry vinegar
Pre- heat the oven to 300°F.
Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and freshly ground pepper. Stuff the cavity with the lightly crushed garlic, lemon quarters and basil and tarragon, setting aside a few leaves of each for the bread salad.
Place the chicken in a large roasting pan, breast-side up, with the wings tucked under its back, and truss the legs together to close the cavity. Roast at 300°F for 1 hour, until both the thigh and the breast read 150°F with a meat thermometer. Remove the chicken from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 400°F. Thoroughly brush the chicken with 2 tablespoons olive oil, then return to the oven and bake until crispy and golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and set aside to rest while you prepare the bread salad.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the bread. Sauté until crispy and golden. Once it’s golden, grate 1 clove garlic with a microplane and toss with the bread over the heat for 20 more seconds. Remove to a large bowl. Add the shallots and tomatoes to the bread; drizzle with the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil, the sherry vinegar and a few torn leaves of basil and tarragon and set aside.
Arrange the bread salad around the chicken in the roasting pan and serve.