Thursday, March 5, 2009

Roasted Chicken with Salsa Verde from A16: Food + Wine

To me, a new cookbook is like a new toy to child; shortly after buying one, I just can't stop playing with it. In the case of A16: Food + Wine, I have a new toy that I don't think I will ever grow bored of. I've already sung my praises for this cookbook, but I would like to report on yet another excellent dish that I cooked from it: Roasted Chicken with Salsa Verde.

The recipe is actually for tiny roasted young chickens, but I had picked up a nice 3lb. Giannone chicken, so used that instead. I also ran out of dried oregano so I substituted dried sage for some of the oregano that the recipe called for. The chicken still turned out beautifully: a wonderfully crispy skin, juicy and flavorful meat. The salsa verde is excellent as well; my girlfriend who abhors parsely gave it her approval, so don't be alarmed by the cup of parsley that goes into the sauce.

There are two keys to this dish. First, spend a little extra to get a quality bird; chicken quality makes an especially big difference when it comes to simply roasted chicken. Second, the chicken benefits greatly from the two day seasoning process. Planning a recipe two days in advance can be a hassle, but after two days, the seasoning permeates the meat nicely. As an added bonus, this process allows you to just toss the chicken in the oven when you are ready to cook it rather than taking the time to wash, dry, and season the chicken first.

Roasted Chicken with Salsa Verde

For the Chicken:
  • 1 good-quality 3lb. chicken, washed and thoroughly dried
  • 3 Tb kosher salt (yes, 3; don't be shy)
  • 1 1/2 Tb dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 Tb dried sage
  • 1/2 ts dried chile flakes

For the Salsa Verde:
  • 1cup flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 ts dried chile flakes
  • 1/2 ts capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 of a lemon
  • small clove of garlic (or 1/2 of a large clove)
  • pinch of salt

  1. Two days prior to cooking, grind oregano, sage, and chile flakes in a spice grinder. Rub chicken skin and cavity with salt. Then, rub spice mixture on skin and in cavity. Cover and refrigerate for two days.
  2. Cook chicken at 450F until cooked through, about 50 minutes. Meanwhile, make the salsa verde.
  3. For salsa verde, add parsley, breadcrumbs, chile flakes, capers, and garlic to food processor. Pulse until well blended. While running processor, drizzle in olive oil. Add lemon juice and pinch of salt and process to blend.
  4. Once chicken is cooked, let it rest for 10 min. Serve with salsa verde.

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