I was excited to see Dorie’s Roast Chicken for les paresseux (for lazy people!) (pp200-201) on the list for this month’s French Fridays with Dorie recipes. In our house, Neil is the master chicken roaster – we roast a chicken at least once a month – but he never really seems to follow a recipe. Mostly, I don’t know what’s going on in the kitchen when this chicken roasting is taking place (it’s a small kitchen and when one of us is cooking the other tends to go elsewhere in the house) except that there is always a lot of butter. Ever since we learned the “shove the butter under the chicken skin” technique in Culinary Arts 1 at George Brown College last year, we’ve fallen in love with the crispy skin and the moist meat that this technique produces.
I was mostly excited because for things like chicken which scare me (yes, I am not a fan of the raw meat), I always feel I need a recipe and Neil’s “a bit of this and a bit of that” don’t really help me out much (this is why he is always in charge). When I showed Neil the recipe, he said “Oh that’s what I always do – but where’s the butter?” and took charge. I told him to follow the recipe despite what he wanted to do (i.e. use tons of butter).
It turns out that we couldn’t follow the recipe to a “T” because Dorie calls for you to rest the chicken on a piece of baguette that will then soak up the juices and crisp up in the oven. Perfect for smearing the chicken liver onto (which you are supposed to leave inside the bird while it cooks too). We had neither baguette nor the liver (is it awful for me to say I was somewhat relieved?) so Neil improvised, resting the bird on some potatoes and onions.
We ended up eating the onions and potatoes – they were roasted to perfection under the bird – though Neil missed the liver smeared on crispy baguette…
You might be wondering why the photo at the top of the post is not a picture of the whole bird. Well here’s the thing. Dorie’s recipe calls for the bird to cook at 450F for the entire time. Our bird was tiny so Neil started it on high for about 20 minutes and then lowered the temp to 400F for the remainder of the cooking time. When it was done, the juices ran clear but the top was not as crispy as I personally like it. So I put the broiler on (mistakenly “high” instead of “low”) and poured myself a glass of wine and set the table. Ahem. Yes, our little birdie got a bit *too* crispy in a couple of parts and I just wouldn’t want to post that since it’s not what Dorie suggested and it misrepresents the deliciousness that was the dish.
Yes, even without the tons of butter shoved under the skin, this was a delectable meal. And next time: 1. I will make it all myself and 2. I will not deviate (much) from the recipe. So glad I have a recipe now
A few people have asked for recipes for the French Fridays with Dorie entries. The group does not publish the recipes on our blogs, rather, we would prefer it if you would purchase the book yourselves (you definitely want this book!) which you can do here on Amazon (great price right now) or here on Amazon Canada (it’s also on special!)
If you’re from Ontario, did you check out my Taste the Season giveaway yet? Closes November 21st.