This week’s recipe for Cook the Book Fridays comes from Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, Everyday Dorie and, well, I’m always happy to roast a chicken in this house BUT very rarely use any other recipe than Mr Neil’s Roast Chicken from In the French kitchen with kids or my Quick Roast Chicken from French Food for Everyone: le dîner (dinner).
This recipe of Dories uses a compound butter (butter mixed with herbs, lemon zest, scallions, salt and pepper) that’s rubbed under the skin of the chicken. Dorie calls for making a full stick of this butter and only using half. We used half on the chicken but melted the rest to baste the chicken through the roasting process which means I don’t have a half stick of compound butter getting lost in my fridge or freezer and makes for a very flavourful and moist chicken.
Dorie also calls for using a bit of this butter on a stale slice of bread to place under the chicken in the pan to soak up the juices (then you serve this bread with the meal). I didn’t do this – we usually roast the vegetables in the pan with the chicken to mimic this (it helps the chicken stay put too) and honestly, we had the right amount of pan juices thanks to the basting so not sure I would do the bread thing next time either… I also roasted the vegetables on a separate tray – this recipe calls for roasting in a tall-sided roasting pan and I wanted to make sure my potatoes were crispy not soggy as they might be trapped in a deep pan. I tossed the onion from the recipe on the tray with the potatoes and it was perfect.
We served this with steamed green beans and while the chicken was flavourful, the pan juices were the best part of this! I mean, give me a roast chicken recipe and I’ll always freestyle it – as Dorie even says about this one,
You’ll make this recipe once and then never look at it again.
It’s all about smart techniques here and this is definitely one I’ll add (herbs to the butter under the chicken skin!).
Get the recipe for Herb Butter Chicken on p 122 of Dorie Grenspan’s Everyday Dorie or here.
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