12 January 2016

A swoon-worthy roasted chicken recipe

How do the French do it? A beautifully browned, succulent roasted chicken is what everyone aspires to, isn't it?  And yet it's such an intimidating project to recreate your favorite French restaurant's signature dish.  I say, don't bother.  Use chicken thighs (the best meat, in my opinion), slice up your potatoes paper-thin, and relax on the sofa with a glass of wine while this cooks.  It will be just as transcendent, perhaps without a little bit of the presentation. Throw in a green salad and you've got a guest-worthy meal on the table in an hour.

Herb Roasted Chicken Thighs with Potatoes

Serves 4-6

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 to 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence (can sub dried thyme or 1 Tbsp of fresh chopped herbs such as thyme or tarragon)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 pounds chicken thighs, bone in, skin-on, trimmed of excess fat
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 large Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and thinly sliced (1/8-inch thick or less)
1 cup sliced, peeled shallots (can sub thinly sliced onion that have soaked in water for 10 min)
3 to 4 whole garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
Several whole sprigs of fresh tarragon or thyme (optional)
More salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F. Sprinkle all sides of chicken thighs with kosher salt and set aside.
In a small bowl whisk together the red wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, herbes de Provence, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
Spread a teaspoon of olive oil over the bottom of a large (9x13-inch) casserole dish. Cover the bottom of the dish with the thinly sliced potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Distribute the sliced shallots over the potatoes, and sprinkle again with a little salt and pepper.
Place the chicken thighs, skin-side up, on top of the shallots. Wedge the garlic cloves between pieces of chicken. If you have fresh herbs such as tarragon or thyme, you can wedge them in along the border, between the chicken pieces and the dish. Whisk the vinaigrette again and pour it over the chicken, spreading it with your fingers to make sure the chicken is well coated.
Bake uncovered in a 375°F oven for 50 minutes, or until the thighs are well browned and cooked through. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. (Note if you find the potatoes still need a bit more time, just remove the thighs to a plate to rest and cook the potatoes an extra 10 minutes or so.)