Friday, February 3, 2012

Weeknight Roast Chicken With Lemon-Tarragon Pan Sauce


Oh, hi!  It's Friday. Amen.  It's been a wild week at work, and I haven't been able to post recipes for over a week. I've missed y'all!

It didn't help that I popped a rib, last weekend.  I won't get into the sordid details as to how it happened.   Let's just say that I slept about two hours, total, last Sunday night.   I was in so much pain, that I couldn't wait for the sun to come up so I could show up at my chiropractor.  After some painful deep massage , I could hear a "pop" as my rib went back into place.  Instant relief.

The rest of my work week kept me pretty busy, since I'm taking a few night classes.  This dinner turned out to be the perfect antidote, after a night or two of grabbing dinner on-the-run.  I wanted home-cooking.  Whole Foods had a special on whole chickens, so this 3-1/2 pound bird cost less than $5.00. Score!

I don't roast a whole chicken very often.  I'm not sure why, but it's most likely that I find them to be a little" Dullsville".   A week ago, I had recorded an episode of America's Test Kitchen, Season 2012.  Craig watched the episode, with me.  According to "ATK', this recipe promised to deliver flavorful and moist chicken-- without brining-- in under an hour.  Really? I'm listening.  That's when Craig told me that he looooves roast chicken.  Who knew?

The first step is to preheat a skillet in a 450 degree oven.  According to ATK, "preheating the pan and placing the chicken breast side up gave the thighs a jump start on cooking."  To prep the chicken, all I had to do was to tie the legs, slather the bird with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  I then transferred the  chicken, breast side up, to the preheated skillet in oven. I roasted the chicken until the breasts registered 120 degrees and thighs registered 135 degrees, 25 to 35 minutes.

Here's the twist--Turn off oven and leave chicken in oven until breasts register 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees, 25 to 35 minutes. This technique was to prevent the evaporation of juices, ensuring moist meat.

While the chicken was roasting, I prepped the ingredients for the pan sauce. Shallots are a staple in my fridge.  They're much milder tasting than onions, and I use them often.  I love tarragon, and we grow it in our herb garden. Parsley would make a fine substitute.

The chicken is cooked to the perfect temperature, so I set it on a carving board and lightly covered it with foil.

There wasn't that much fat in the skillet, but just enough, so I added the shallots and cooked them until softened (about 2 minutes). Next, I stirred in the broth and mustard, scraping skillet bottom with wooden spoon to loosen fond. I simmered the sauce until it reduced to ¾ cup, about 3 minutes.

I turned off the heat, then added the lemon juice, butter and tarragon...

...and gave it a good whisk.

Last, a little pepper to taste... then covered, and kept warm.

We finally got the hang of learning how to carve a whole chicken (which could be part of the reason I rarely roast a whole chicken), by pulling out the leg...

...then learning how to cut the leg away, at the joint. Easy!

I served this with roasted asparagus and mashed potatoes.

I shot these photos in very dim light, but I hope you can see how moist the chicken was. It was juicy!

TASTING NOTES:  As promised, the dinner was ready in an hour.  The chicken was very moist. I loved the pan sauce, but how can one go wrong with lemon and tarragon?    I loved this meal. I loved the simplicity in preparing it, and the sauce was excellent.  The beauty of roasting a whole chicken is that it is cheaper than paying for cut-up chicken-- plus, the carcass became chicken stock, the next day. Double bonus!   America's Test Kitchen does it again-- another keeper recipe.

I have several recipes to share, but tomorrow I'm taking an all-day class.  That means, I'm headed to bed early for a Friday night.  My R&R won't begin until Super Bowl Sunday.  All my plans to make lots of finger foods and a spread of munchies, while my men watched the game,  will have to wait until next year.  Being a Northern California gal, the "9-ers" aren't playing, but it was a close and exciting playoff!  So, I'll make a pot of my famous Chili Con Carne (I have never blogged that recipe), kick up my feet and cuddle with my husband (hoping I won't fall asleep).  I've been very scarce at home, and we need "we time".  Hopefully, I can work on more recipes to share with you-- especially a cake that I baked last week that rocked my world!  Soon... I promise!

A printable recipe card is at the end of this post. 





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15 comments:

TKW said...

Wow, this looks like the perfect Sunday night supper!

All Things Yummy said...

Ouch you popped a rib...I didn't even know you could do that. Good to know a chiropractor can fix it.
Roasted chicken looks devine.

Kate said...

Ouch...I didn't know that a rib could pop out...

Well, that explains why the dinner never arrived...I have a plate and have been waiting for my dinner to be delivered. Guess I had better get to cookin'! LOL Looks so delicious....

Joanne said...

My mom made SO MUCH bad roasted chicken when I was a kid that I've kinda been turned off of it. But that lemon tarragon pan sauce...that sounds like the perfect fix!

Amalia said...

Woah, you popped your rib?? Holy cow that sounds painful! Thank goodness you're a-OK! And this chicken looks super moist and tender, I love the sauce too! ATK always has the best recipes, this one definitely looks fabulous :) Have a great Superbowl, hopefully you'll be able to stay awake, haha!

Stacey Snacks said...

Never heard of "popping a rib", sounds like food to me!
Lovely bird Deb!

Kim said...

I'm glad you are feeling better. You have me thinking I should pay more attention to my ATK recipes. I haven't cooked one in awhile. The chicken looks wonderful.

Christine said...

Heard of broken ribs but never a "popped" one, glad you're feeling better!
Love tarragon. How do you keep it alive over winter? I live in LA and it dies out by Christmas!
This bird looks delicious and super easy! Thanks so much!

Becki's Whole Life said...

Sounds wonderful. The pan sauce is perfect with the roasted chicken. Tarragon and lemon is such a great combo....I think tarragon is always a nice flavor with chicken.

Olga @ Olga's Flavor Factory said...

I tried this chicken and it is delicious and perfectly moist. Roast chicken is such a delicious, beautiful and elegant meal. Satisfying, comforting but never tastes heavy. You have awesome recipes:)

Altenpflege said...

Oh my! That makes me drool.=D

bellini said...

Ouch Debbie. I don't think your body can take any more pain with knee replacements and popped ribs. As for the chicken I will have to give this method a try.

Anonymous said...

I saw the Weeknight episode, and have done it this way ever since. I have not been disappointed! Just amazed. The chicken is sooooo gooood!!! Thanks for posting. Patsy

Wild Magnolia said...

Re copyright warning. How did you take cooksillustrated.com recipe for chicken verbatim without running afoul of copyright laws. They published the recipe in 2011

Debby Foodiewife said...

That is very easy to answer Wild Magnolia. I give credit to Cook's Illustrated and didn't claim this as my own recipe. I don't mind if people use My original recipes, and if they copy it verbatim, as long as they link back to me.
See? I walk the talk. Kind of a rude comment, and could've been handled nicer.
By the way, my copyright notice is because my photos are being stolen, and used on other blog posts for a totally different recipe. THAT is copyright infringement.