Mariel here. Looks like we’re in for a wild and wooly winter, if December is a harbinger of things to come. In honor of the recent “Brrricane” (my favorite moniker for this year’s post-Christmas blizzard), I whipped up a few hearty one-pot wonders including our sweet and savory Pot Roast, as well as this Braise-Roasted Chicken. I was originally inspired by Food52‘s article on Spatchcocking, which entails flattening a whole bird and removing the backbone so you can brown it in one layer. I decided to simplify things even further and use a quartered chicken since extracting a backbone seemed a bit too grim for dinnertime. Braise-roasting, if you’ve never attempted it before, necessitates a quick browning on the stovetop before semi-immersing the chicken in broth and cooking it in the oven. The results are well worth the tiny bit of extra effort: you’re left with a bird that’s moist on the inside and extra crispy on the outside. Like any roast chicken, this is the meal that keeps on giving. Save your chicken bones, scraps, drippings, giblets and any neglected veggies/herbs and use ’em to make chicken stock – another snow day staple. Toss everything together with about 6-8 cups of water and let simmer on the stove for at least an hour and a half. Simply strain the broth and refrigerate or freeze for future use.
Braise-Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables Serves 4
Ingredients: 1 whole chicken, quartered (about 3½ lbs) – $6.00 6 carrots, peeled and sliced – $0.89 1 knob celery (aka root celery or celeriac), trimmed, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces – $1.99 1 large Vidalia onion, chopped coarsely – $0.89 ½-cup cooking sherry – stock 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly smashed – stock 8 sprigs of fresh thyme – $1.49 1 Tablespoon lemon juice – stock 1½ cups low sodium chicken broth – stock 1½ Tablespoons butter – stock 1½ Tablespoons olive oil – stock Salt and pepper – stock Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $11.26 Cost per serving: $2.82 Directions: 1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper. 2. In a roasting pan or dutch oven big enough to fit the chicken, melt the butter and olive oil over high heat. Once the pan is very hot, add the chicken skin-side-down and brown for about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate. Reserve the chicken fat in the pan. 3. In the same pan, add the onions, celery knob, carrots and garlic, and cook over medium heat until the onion has softened, about 4 minutes. Add the thyme and sherry. Increase the heat and boil off nearly all the sherry. Add the chicken broth and the lemon juice. Sprinkle the veggies with salt and pepper. Gently lower the chicken back into the pan, skin-side up. 4. Transfer the pan to the oven and braise-roast until the chicken is cooked through (an internal temperature of 165 degrees), about 45 minutes. 5. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Carve and serve with the roasted veggies and the excess broth.