Saturday, May 7, 2011

Grant Achatz's Roasted Chicken with Garlic-Thyme Butter (7/24)

Grant Achatz is undeniably at the top of the modern culinary world. When people think about Grant Achatz, they tend to think of (1) tongue cancer and/or (2) insanely creative cooking. His roast chicken recipe, thankfully, doesn't make you think of cancer and doesn't require the use of blowtorches, powders, dehydrators, liquid nitrogen, or immersion circulators. Similar to many other famous chefs, Grant Achatz uses his roast chicken recipe to express his love for comfort food and simple preparations.

His recipe begins with a garlic-thyme butter, similar to the butter used in Tyler Florence's Ultimate Roast Chicken.

The cavity mimics the butter with some crushed garlic, thyme sprigs, and a quartered lemon. You should already be smelling a heavy hand of garlic and thyme in the air.

For good measure, I added a line of garlic-thyme butter along the center of the chicken before sending it off to the oven because this recipe doesn't call for any basting. The other nice thing about this recipe is that it doesn't require a full truss. It just asks that you tie the legs together. Just like the recipe suggests, the chicken was ready in exactly one and a half hours, with no flipping, basting, or messing around in the interim.

I like to think of this recipe as a marriage between Thomas Keller's simplicity and Tyler Florence's overt use of fat. The aromas of garlic and thyme filled the kitchen and the skin crackled as I took the chicken out of the oven. I've always found the resting period after taking a chicken out of the oven to be therapeutic. It gives you a moment to appreciate your work, the process of cooking, and the animal you're about to eat. The aroma was so present in the kitchen after opening the oven door, however, that I found it particularly difficult to restrain myself from digging in right when it came out of the oven.

After ten minutes of sitting on my hands, I dug into the chicken with a few friends. The result was abnormally juicy, making the jus entirely unnecessary. The crusted bits of garlic and thyme gave each bite of the crispy skin a little bit of an extra pop. The meat closest to the cavity had a strong flavor of lemon, garlic, and thyme, but the whole chicken didn't have that same presence of lemon, like the meat from Marcella Hazan's chicken did. In a way, I liked how you could opt into having a lemon-flavored bite and I loved the simple, straightforward flavors of garlic and thyme. The butter was definitely there, but it never left me feeling bad about my bites.

Overall, I would definitely put this chicken high on my list. I expected nothing less from such a culinary giant. Oh, and Grant Achatz, thank you for sharing such a simple, comforting recipe that will now let me say, "Yeah, I've cooked a Grant Achatz recipe. No big deal."

1 comment:

  1. "No big deal" haha. That looks delicious. That stripe of butter is a nice touch.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...