If you guessed Roast Chicken O’Clock, you win an imaginary Internet prize!
Yes, it’s that time again: the time when all ladymagz run articles about mitigating holiday weight gain, shitty Xmas tunes dominate the airwaves, and we dream about roast chicken for dinner.
Funny story about this chicken: it was intended for Thanksgiving — we were worried we wouldn’t have enough turkey — but we saved it until now. Right now. (Note 1: Don’t worry, the bird was in the freezer. I don’t want you thinking we keep leftovers for weeks & weeks, Hoarders-style. Not that you have any reason to believe I’m a hoarder or anything. I’M NOT!) (Note 2: I realize now that the story isn’t that funny, but it seemed consequential to me; the chicken is a meta-leftover, or a not-yet-formed but somehow leftover leftover. GOD! There’s a reason I wasn’t a philosophy major.)
Enough pseudophilosophizing; here’s the breakdown of our dinner.
First, we cleaned and dried the chicken, and then we quartered an onion and a lemon and stuffed the cavity. We also added some bacon lardons and chopped mushrooms to the roasting pan (mmmmm, lardons!). We cooked the chicken using Mark Bittman’s method: 20 minutes at 500 and a longer time (45 minutes) at 375. This method browns the chicken skin andallows the bird to remain juicy = best of both worlds. Thanks, Mark!
This is Zuni's chicken, but guess what? Ours looked basically identical, right down to the sprigs of rosemary. Oh, yeah: we're that good.
The chicken (spoiler alert) was killer, but do you know what may have been more killer? Our roasted potatoes. Baked at the same time as the bird, these potatoes developed a crisp exterior and maintained their pillowy soft centers. If you’d care to replicate this Dinner of Wonder, you can probably find Bittman’s chicken instructions online (or in, you know, one of his cookbooks), and you can find our potato recipe right freaking here.
Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary, Bacon, and Smoked Paprika (serves 4)
- Six small potatoes, scrubbed and dried
- A healthy dose of extra-virgin olive oil
- Maldon salt and fresh-ground pepper
- Fresh rosemary, chopped to your liking
- Lardons made from approximately three strips of bacon
- Three cloves garlic, minced
- Approximately 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
- Chop your potatoes into roughly equal-sized chunks. I say chunks because I like bigger potatoes, but if you prefer doll-sized bites, chop accordingly. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl.
- Mince your garlic and chop your rosemary (as much or as little as you please) and bacon. Leave them on your cutting board, for the time being.
- Add olive oil, salt, and pepper to the potatoes, coating evenly. Then add your garlic, rosemary, and bacon. Incorporate these ingredients well.
- Transfer potatoes to a baking dish and sprinkle with smoked paprika. (Sadly, I didn’t witness the actual sprinkling, so I’m not sure how much paprika Alex used, but my guess is 3 tsp.)
- Bake potatoes using the same method you use to bake your chicken: 20 minutes at 500, reduce heat to 375, and cook potatoes until they seem done. We let the taters cook for as long as the chicken cooked, and (miraculously) they didn’t burn. But, if you’re worried about such things (burned potatoes), feel free to remove them earlier.
The secret ingredient.
If you do nothing else this weekend, try these potatoes. I’m a recovering potato hater, and I went back for seconds of this side. As mentioned previously, these spuds have a far better texture than their cousins. In addition, the bacon and paprika gave the dish a smoky flavor that supported the chicken (and the sesame chard: the third element of our dinner trifecta). I’d go so far as to say these were restaurant-grade potatoes — or better. Bold words, for sure, but deservedly bold words. Trust me on this.
NOTE: Sadly (and foolishly), I didn’t take any photos of this meal. My reasons are threefold: First, my phone was in the other room and I was just too damn lazy to get it. Second, we didn’t eat until 9:30, at which point the living room was DARK and the photos would have been mighty blurry. Finally, by the time we ate, I was so hungry that Instagram was the last thing on my mind. Sorry, dudes: you’ll have to sate yourself with the Internet Food Porn I’ve scavenged.