I gotta tell you I really enjoyed this challenge (Are we calling it a challenge?) and it enabled me to do some decent cooking for the 1st time in weeks. The ladies at Karmic Kitchen threw down the gauntlet (now I am calling it a challenge) to cook a themed Sunday dinner. I don't know that I could do this every week because I had to do some planning and shopping ahead of time. And with the kid's schedules as out of control as they are, I really had to start thinking about this a week earlier. But I will do what I can.
The theme was "A Chicken In Every Pot" so this was Sunday dinner on March 8th (a little ahead of schedule but I have to cook when I can). For this 1st Dim Sum Sunday, I wanted to try something special but simple (because that's the way I roll) and something from Top Chef, which is how I found Karmic Kitchen in the 1st place. So I downloaded Fabio Vivani's Roasted Chicken from Bravo's Site. He won 1st place with it in Episode 12, the last supper. Well, this is the 1st supper for Dim Sum Sunday, but I digress. Here's the "original" recipe (original in quotes because I think some things were left out):
Roasted Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Potatoes
Source: Fabio Viviani, Top Chef Season 5
Prep Time: About 1 Hour
1 whole chicken
rosemary and sage, enough to fill the chicken inside
6 cloves of garlic
1. Fill the whole chicken with everything but the lemon, cut the lemon in half and grill the lemon with the grill on high.
2. Coat the skin of the chicken with black pepper and kosher salt, and place the lemon inside as well. Roast the chicken at 475 for the first for 10 minutes and then lower the oven to 375 for another 30 minutes, let rest for 5 minutes, and then cut and serve.
3. Peel and slice 6 Kennebec potatoes and cut them in pieces.
4. Blanch the potatoes in boiling water till soft enough to be easily poked by a toothpick.
5. Place them in the oven with 10 cloves of garlic smashed with a knife, salt, pepper and rosemary enough for the amount of potatoes. Let them go at 375 for over 1 hour till very crispy on the outside.
6. For the caramelized Cipollini, it's even easier. Peel them, blanch them with boiling water for 5 minutes and then roast them in butter in a pan on slow fire. Salt and pepper them and add 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Keep them on fire till golden brown. Buon appetito.
Here are the only deviations I had to make:
1. I did the chicken just as Fabio did but I coated the outside with olive oil and I sealed it up with skewers because I believe he would have done this (and it just wasn't written into the recipe). I grilled the lemons on the BBQ because it was a nice day and added some mesquite chips to the fire for some smokiness.
2. I didn't have (or could find) the Kennebec potatoes or Cipollini onions, so I substituted Fingerling potatoes and shallots. I did not peel or cut the potatoes because they were so small.
Chicken Pre-Cooking (I did the shallots at the last minute so they're not shown here).
I made it up a couple of hours ahead of time because I had to take my youngest to soccer right at 4:30PM. This meant I had to trust the Mrs. to put it in on time and turn down the heat when called for. I left her very detailed instructions with circles and arrows and threw caution to the wind. You see, my wife doesn't cook much; make that at all. The few times she has she's about 50 -50 on edible versus inedible. She has messed up jello and frozen pizza in the past so when I say I'm throwing caution to the wind, I'm really running with scissors on an ice rink.
Well, she done good. When we got home from soccer the house smelled great. I cleaned up and prepared the shallots per the recipe. Then I waited...and waited. I had a meat thermometer in the chicken and it just wouldn't come up to temperature. I had a 5 lb. chicken and I took into account that it was in the fridge, so I was allowing 1 hour and 10 minutes versus Fabio's 40 minutes. Well, I'll tell you what, I had that chicken in there for over 1 1/2 hours and it still could have used a little more time (so be forewarned).
I pulled it out of the oven and didn't let it rest much because the wife and kids were starving. It was just the slightest bit pink at the leg joints, but very tender. Here's what it looked like and keep in mind that I'm a guy and know nothing about plating or centerpieces.
Chicken Post-Cooking with shallots on the side.
There are no pictures of the meal on the plate because the kids were so hungry it was gone in 10 minutes. The chicken and potatoes were good and the shallots were outstanding. I've got to remember this preparation for shallots because it's so simple. You could taste the herbs in the thigh meat more than the breast meat but I didn't get any of the lemon. I actually grilled some extra slices of lemon to put on the plates but forgot them when the terror brothers went into a feeding frenzy.
Anyway, that's my Sunday dinner. I have just enough chicken to make one sandwich for lunch as long as I hide it in the vegetable crisper so the kids won't find it. Thanks to Java Junkie and Big Shamue and I'm looking forward to the next theme (please be pasta).