Friday, August 26, 2011

Jacques Pépin's Quick Roasted Chicken (11/24)

Finally! Chicken number eleven! Jeez, it's already the end of August. I've got another chicken to share in the next few days, but still, I'm behind. But not to worry! I'm going to rally and eat tons of chicken in either September or October. Wish me luck...

So today we've got a recipe from Jacques Pépin. Jacques Pépin is pretty famous for producing great, home recipes. This chicken was no different. Better yet, it only took an hour to prep and bring this chicken to the table.

First things first. Grab those kitchen shears, cut out the backbone to butterfly the chicken, and wash and pat the chicken dry as usual.

For better, even cooking, slash the main joints between the body and the four limbs. Don't get too crazy with the slashing, though, because (1) you'll have to deal with separated limbs, which can complicate even cooking, and (2) whoever just saw you maim the chicken might think that you either have anger issues or or have an alter ego named Dexter Morgan.

Next, mix up the marinade. I was a little bit worried about how these flavors would come together. Minced garlic, dijon mustard, dry white wine, soy sauce, extra virgin olive oil, tabasco, herbes de Provence, and salt? Okay.

But as I started whisking the mix together, an addictive smell made its way to my nose. The chicken suddenly became much more promising.

Next, give the chicken some spa treatment. The sauce should find its way in every nook and cranny.

I didn't have a large enough skillet this time around, so I used a roasting pan on high to cook the chicken for a brief five minutes. The sizzling aromas should already be testing your patience.

After half an hour of roasting, you should have a slightly blackened chicken. But not to worry. The black parts are easily removable and are only the result of the 450-degree roasting technique.

I had mixed feelings about the end result. The dark meat was very moist and full of flavor and the skin was crispy and slightly spicy, but the rest of the chicken was a bit more dried out than I would have liked. I think I probably could have pulled the chicken out of the oven after 20 to 25 minutes, rather than 30.

Though the white meat came out dry this time around, I wouldn't hesitate to give this recipe another go, mainly because the bites of dark meat I had were notably delicious. The heat from the mustard and tabasco plays well with the potent and flavorful herbs. The soy sauce and wine barely make their way through, but I think with a little bit less cooking time, their rich flavors would probably shine more.

All in all, a great, quick way to get some delicious and interesting food on the table. The search for a chicken that can trump Marcella Hazan's rendition, however, continues.

In related news, I just finalized my roast chicken list for the rest of 2011. Now that I've more or less gotten my bearings with general chicken roasting techniques, I'm going to use the second half or so of this project to try out some more unique flavors and techniques. There will still be a few heavily European-inspired recipes, but lots of exciting and interesting roast chicken recipes to come!


  1. Uh oh...not even halfway through in August? Roast, roast, roast!

  2. i've been obsessed w jacques pepin lately. i love the way he cooks!


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