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Chef Thomas Keller takes roasted chicken to the next level. Brined, buttered and perfectly seasoned — this recipe is one for the (cook)books.
Serves 2 to 4
For the Brine:
5 lemons, halved
6 bay leaves
½ bunch (4 ounces) flat-leaf parsley
½ bunch (1 ounce) thyme
¼ cup clover honey
1 head garlic, halved through the equator
⅛ cup black peppercorns
1 cup (7 ounces) kosher salt
1 gallon water
Combine all ingredients in a stock pot and bring them to a boil. Remove the pot from heat and allow it to cool until warm, but not hot. Transfer the brine into a container large enough to hold both the brine and the chicken. Place the brine in the refrigerator, uncovered, until completely chilled.
For the Roasted Chicken:
1 whole chicken, 2 to 3 pounds
2 large leeks
4 carrots, trimmed and cut in half
4 shallots, peeled
1 small onion
8 small new potatoes
Clarified butter (or ⅓ cup canola oil)
1) Remove the neck and any of the giblets if they are still inside the chicken. Using the tip of a paring knife, trace around the wishbone, then pull it out from the center. This will make it easier to carve the chicken.
2) Submerge the chicken in the cold brine for 12 hours. After 12 hours, remove the chicken and discard the brine. Tuck the wings under the back and truss the chicken securely with butcher’s twine. Trussing will assist in even cooking and an attractive presentation.
3) Place the trussed chicken on a sheet pan or large plate, uncovered in the refrigerator for 2 days for the skin to dry. This is the key to achieving crisp and beautifully golden skin while roasting.
1) Cut off both ends of the turnips. Stand the turnips on end and cut away ⅛ inch of the tough outer skin, working from top to bottom. Cut into ¾-inch wedges.
2) Cut off the dark green leaves from the top of the leeks. Trim off and discard any darkened outer layers. Trim the root ends, cutting around them on a 45-degree angle. Halve the leeks lengthwise and rinse them well under warm water.
3) Scrub the parsnips and carrots, trim, and halve lengthwise. Cut the parsnips and carrots into halves or quarters lengthwise so they are similar in thickness to the other vegetables to ensure even cooking.
4) Peel the shallots and leave them whole if they are small; if large, split them in half lengthwise.
5) Cut the onion into wedges with the root attached and leave the potatoes whole. Rinse and dry the new potatoes.
6) Combine all the vegetables in the Hestan Sauté Pan and drizzle with clarified butter or canola oil. Season liberally with kosher salt and gently toss them with your hands to coat evenly.
1) Prior to roasting, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and allow it to temper for 1 to 2 hours.
2) Preheat the oven to 475°F. Brush the chicken with clarified butter or canola oil and season all sides with salt. Make a nest in the center of the vegetables and nestle the chicken in it. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400°F and roast for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, or until the temperature registers 160°F in the meatiest portions of the bird (in between the thighs and the breast). The juices should run clear where the leg joint meets the thigh. If necessary, return the bird to the oven for more roasting; check it every 5 minutes until done.
3) Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
4) Just before serving, set the pan of vegetables over medium heat and reheat the vegetables, turning them to coat with the pan juices. Carve the chicken into serving pieces, arrange over the vegetables, finish with sel gris, and serve.
Recipe adapted from Bouchon and Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller (Artisan Books). Copyrights© 2004, 2009.