Roast Chicken with Warm Bread Salad and Thai-style Pan-roasted Brussels Sprouts
So, I’ve got to tell you folks, that I have come across the most wonderful “dinner-for-four” menu, both in terms of pure wonderfulness and ease of preparation. I made this recipe for the family and then for company, and won raves both times–the shocking rave was the family one, considering just how picky some of the people in my family can be. Truth be told, “picky” doesn’t quite capture the general intransigence with which my cooking is often met. More often my productions at dinner time is met with a “why can’t you just make macaroni and cheese, like all my friends’ parents do?”
To which I generally reply, “What the heck is macaroni and cheese?”
To which the response usually is, “Daaaaaaaaaaaddddd!”
But I digress…
Roast chicken, as you know if you follow this space with any regularity, is not really a mystery to me, as I believe I have previously graced you with what I believe to be the easiest, foolproof-est, moistest, tastiest roast chicken, done in an hour start to finish–perfect for a quick weeknight supper. If you haven’t seen it here, then check below. It’s here somewhere. Promise.
This particular chicken presentation takes a bit more time and planning, but then if you’re cooking for company you might want to take the extra time and effort, and buy wonderful fresh ingredients. Your guests deserve it. And so do you.
So try this recipe, for a butterflied chicken with warm bread salad and Thai-style pan-roasted Brussels sprouts (that’s right, Brussels sprouts! Even the kids liked them.
Butterflied Chicken with Warm Bread Salad
1 whole chicken (4-5 pounds) giblets discarded
4 1-inch thick slices crusty country bread, bottom crust removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup chicken broth
6 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons white balsamic or champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 scallions, green parts only, sliced thin
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
5 cups baby arugula
- Place the chicken, breast side down, on a cutting board. Using kitchen shears, cut through bones on either side of backbone; discard backbone. Do not trim off any excess fat or skin. Flip the chicken over and press down hard on the breastbone to flatten. Or remove the breastbone entirely.
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Spray a 9 12 roasting pan with vegetable oil spray. Toss the bread with broth and 2 tablespoons of olive oil until the pieces are evenly moistened. Arrange the bread cubes in skillet in a single layer, with most of the crusted pieces near center, crust side up.
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and place it, skin side up, on top of the bread cubes. Brush 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the chicken skin and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast until the skin is deep golden brown and the thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees, 45 to 50 minutes, rotating halfway through.
- While chicken roasts, whisk vinegar, mustard, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper together in small bowl. Slowly whisk in the remaining ¼ cup oil. Stir in scallions and cranberries and set aside. Place the arugula in a large bowl.
- When done, transfer the chicken to a carving board and let rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Run a thin metal spatula under the bread to loosen from the bottom of the roasting pan. (The bread should be a mix of softened, golden-brown, and crunchy pieces.) Carve the chicken and whisk any accumulated juices into vinaigrette. Add bread and vinaigrette to the arugula and toss to evenly coat. Transfer salad to a serving platter and serve with the chicken. When carving the chicken, remove the legs, thighs, and wings. Remove the breasts whole from the breast bone and rib bones and cut the breasts crossways into 3/4-inch slices.
Thai-Style Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 pound small (1- to 1 1/2-inches in diameter) Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium-hot chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced fine
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons dry-roasted peanuts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- Arrange Brussels sprouts in a single layer, cut sides down, in a 12-inch nonstick skillet. Drizzle oil evenly over sprouts. Cover skillet, place over medium-high heat, and cook until sprouts are bright green and cut sides have started to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Uncover and continue to cook until the cut sides of the sprouts are deeply and evenly browned and a paring knife slides in with little to no resistance, 2 to 3 minutes longer, adjusting the heat and moving the sprouts as necessary to prevent them from overbrowning. While the sprouts cook, combine the chile, lime juice, fish sauce, and ¼ teaspoon salt in small bowl.
- Off heat, add the chile mixture to the skillet and stir to evenly coat the sprouts. Season with salt to taste. Transfer to a large plate, sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro, and serve.