Table for Two…Roasted Chicken
Read More: Silver Dining
Staying in this weekend? Your own special date night? Chicken may not seem to be the most romantic meal option, but but I assure you that your date will not be disappointed. The versatile nature of chicken makes it one of the most popular menu item available to restaurant diners.
Herb-and-Lemon-Roasted Chicken with Smashed Broccoli and Garlic
1 1/4 hours to make + 5 hours to marinate
Give yourself plenty of time to marinate the chicken; I usually do this the morning I plan to serve it. The smashed broccoli and garlic remind me of the soft, overcooked vegetables of my youth. It’s mushy and satisfying. To me, chicken and broccoli is a classic combination that doesn’t need rice or potatoes to go with-it’s perfect the way it is.
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon, peeled in big strips
4 garlic cloves, smashed
4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 lemon, sliced in paper-thin circles
2 bone-in chicken breasts, 8 ounces each, skin on
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Chicken Stock or low sodium chicken broth
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 bunch broccoli, about 1 pound, including stems, coarsely chopped
1 cup Chicken Stock
1/4 cup plain yogurt
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Start by marinating the chicken because it will take the longest. Marinade the chicken overnight to save the time of preparing the marinade in the morning. With meats like chicken, marinading for a longer time will infuse more flavor into the meat. To infuse the oil with flavor and create a base for the marinade, combine the olive oil with the lemon zest, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves in a small pot and place over very low heat. You don’t want to fry the herbs, just steep them like you’re making tea. When the oil begins to simmer, shut off the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes. Pour the fragrant oil, solid pieces and all, into a bowl and put it in the refrigerator to cool.
Combine the chopped chives, parsley, and tarragon in a small bowl. Finding good fresh herbs can be difficult at times; look for bright green crisp leaves. Avoid herbs where the leaves have started to brown or shrivel. Do not be afraid to substitute herbs in this recipe. Don’t like taragon; leave it out and add more parsley. Want more of an italian flavor, try the combination of oregano, basil and parsley. Stuff 2 lemon slices under the skin of each chicken breast, along with half of the mixed chopped herbs. Put the chicken in a resealable food storage bag and pour in the cool herb oil, turning to coat really well. Toss in the remaining half of the chopped herbs, seal the bag, and refrigerate at least 5 hours or as long as all day.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before cooking so it won’t be too cold when it goes into the pan; cold chicken takes longer to cook. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put a cast-iron (or regular ovenproof) skillet over medium heat. Drizzle the bottom of the pan with a 2-count of olive oil and heat until almost smoking; this will keep the chicken from sticking. Season the chicken with a fair amount of salt and pepper and put it in the pan, skin side down. Cook for 5 minutes or until the skin begins to set and crisp. Flip the chicken and brown another 5 minutes. Flip it yet again, so the skin side is down, and transfer the entire pan to the oven. You want the chicken to render its fat and the skin to crisp up. Roast the chicken for 20 to 25 minutes or until cooked through. If you have a meat thermometer, here is a good time to put it to work. If you do not have a meat thermometer, it is a simple investment that you can easily find for less than $15. You want to remove the chicken breast when an instant-read thermometer measure 145 – 150 F. When you remove the chicken from the oven, cover it with foil and allow carry over cooking to raise the internal temperature of the breast to about 160 F. While that’s in the oven, move on to the broccoli.
Heat the olive oil in a medium pot; add the red pepper flakes and garlic. Throw in the broccoli and toss to coat in the garlic and oil. Pour in the chicken stock, cover, and let the broccoli steam for 10 minutes. When it is quite soft, pulse the broccoli a few times in a food processor, or better yet, use a handheld blender if you have one. The broccoli should be partly smooth and partly chunky. Stir in the yogurt to give the broccoli some body and season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the chicken to a platter and keep it warm while preparing the pan sauce. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered chicken fat and return the skillet to the stovetop. Add the chicken stock and lemon juice and cook over medium heat, scraping up the flavors with a wooden spoon. Cook the liquid down to a syrup, about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter to smooth out the sauce and turn off the heat.
Spoon the smashed broccoli onto 2 plates, lay the chicken on top, and drizzle with the pan sauce. This is comfort food!
Recipe adapted from:
by Tyler Florence
Silver Dining has been a home chef since the first time his mom asked him to start dinner before she got home. He believes cooking should be fun and draws immense pleasure in seeing the satisfied faces of his guests. Find more inspiration on his personal blog “Chef Tell’s Kitchen.”Stay up to date on Richmond brews and more beer news on his Richmond Beermeister Blog.
On a past trip to Orlando, we found a gem of a restaurant in Christo’s Cafe. My only disappointment was that we found it on our last day. Christo’s is not a huge place but the welcoming nature of our waitress told me we were in for a pleasant breakfast. I think my eyes might [...]September 15, 2010
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