Slow-Roasted Chicken Parts with Shallot-Garlic Pan Sauce

December 14, 2014

This new recipe (January/February 2015) looked promising; I’m always looking for new ways to make this staple of our menu new and interesting. The basic premise of the recipe of to quickly brown in a skillet, then to slow-roast in a low, 250-degree oven. The pan sear not only browns the skin, but the fond forms the basis of the sauce. Going against years of recipes, Chris Kimball instructs me not to pat the chicken dry. In this case, it is supposed to allow more flavor to develop for the pan sauce. Unfortunately, the chicken was lackluster. Completely edible, but just an average 3-stars.

Looks great, but only average

Looks great, but only average

Comments:

  1. I only used leg quarters, which were on sale for $.89/lb. The recipe called for 5-pounds, but by the time I trimmed down the leg quarters I only had 4-pounds. The only real consequence is that I had extra sauce.

Rating: 3 star.
Cost: $9.
How much work? Low/Medium.
How big of a mess? Medium.
Start time: 3:45 PM. End time: 6 PM.

The original Cook’s Illustrated recipe is here. The recipe as I cooked it today is as follows:

5 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (4 split breasts plus 4 leg quarters)
Kosher salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil

  1. Set a rack to the lowest position in your oven, and a second rack that measure 8″ from the broiler element. Pre-heat oven to 250-degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a wire rack in the sheet pan. Trim any excess skin and fat from the bone-in chicken pieces, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons kosher salt and pepper (but do not pat the chicken dry).
  3. Set a 12″ skillet over medium/high burner, add 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil and pre-heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Put leg quarters with the skin-side-down and cook for a total of 5 to 7 minutes per batch; turning once. The chicken should be golden brown.
  4. Move chicken to prepared sheet pan and arrange so that the legs are all pointing to one side of the sheet.
  5. Pour off any fat from the skillet and add breasts with the skin-side-down and cook for a total of 4 to 6 minutes per batch; turning once. The chicken should be golden brown.
  6. Move chicken to prepared sheet pan and arrange so that the legs are all pointing to one side of the sheet.
  7. Pour off any fat from the skillet, but do not clean. Set chicken on lower rack so that the legs point to the back of the oven. Bake for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours until the breasts register 155-degrees and the legs register 170-degrees. (While the chicken roasts, begin making the sauce below). Remove from oven and allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes, and pre-heat broiler.
  8. After resting, move sheet pan to upper rack and broil chicken for 3 to 6 minutes until the skin is well browned and crispy. Serve, passing the sauce separately.

1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
2-1/4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
4 shallots, sliced thin
6 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

  1. While the chicken roasts, add broth to a bowl and sprinkle 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin. Allow the gelatin to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. In a separate small bowl, which together the water and corn starch and set aside.
  3. In the skillet that you used to sear the chicken, melt the butter over medium/low burner. Add shallots and garlic, and cook for 6 to 9 minutes until the become brown and crispy.
  4. Add coriander and cook for 30 seconds, then stir in the gelatin mixture. Use the moisture to deglaze the pan, then bring up to a simmer over high burner and reduce for 5 to 7 minutes until you have 1-1/2 cups.
  5. Recombine corn starch mixture with a whisk, then whisk into sauce and simmer for 1 minute until it thickens.
  6. Remove from burner and mix in parsley and lemon juice. Adjust the salt and pepper according to your taste, and cover to keep warm.
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