Friday, March 26, 2010
Ad Hoc Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables
Nearly every week in the cool-weather months - and frequently when it's warmer too - I will roast a chicken or whole turkey breast. I never tire of the flavors of beautifully-browned poultry fresh from the oven. Having leftover meat for other recipes and bones to make homemade stock only compound the pleasure from preparing a simple (usually) roast fowl. On a chilly weekend recently I turned to Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home cookbook and prepared his Roast Chicken on a Bed of Root Vegetables.
- A close adaptation of the recipe can be found on Simply Recipes, along with a lovely blog post about this chicken. (I included the leeks in my chicken, and was glad I did.)
- I had never removed the wishbone from a raw chicken but found it was very easy. The wishbone is the first bone that you come to in the cavity, and you can feel the shape of it through the meat. You just free it with a paring knife and snap it off.
- Keller, as is his wont, is very specific about the number and size of root vegetables to use (3 medium rutabagas, 2 medium turnips, 4 large carrots, 8 small new potatoes). I skipped the potatoes, and used the root vegetables that were in my fridge: 4 rutabagas of assorted sizes, 1 very large turnip, 2 parsnips, 3 carrots
- Rather than a cast iron skillet (I was too lazy to get it from the downstairs pot-and-pan overflow storage) I used my shallow enameled cast iron 3 qt pot.
- If you have an instant read digital thermometer, it takes the guesswork out of determining if the chicken is cooked sufficiently.
This roast chicken made for a perfect Sunday dinner; I loved the roasted root vegetables that were cooked in the same pot, although my husband wasn't as thrilled with them as I was. As far as the chicken itself: the taste didn't beat Thomas Keller's ultra-simple roast chicken from his Bouchon restaurant (my favorite roast chicken, which I blogged here), but it's a great cold weather dish when root vegetables are plentiful.