Thursday, February 22, 2024

Weekly Cooking Report February 22: Slow Roast Chicken and Vegetables

You may have noticed that the recipes for chicken call for birds of modest size - especially modest sized breasts - and when you shop for chicken the store is full of brazen hussies with inflated bosoms. a pack of 4 bone in chicken breasts will measure at 6 lbs! What to do?

I have an amazingly simple solution which will make you look good as a cook: slow roast those suckers! 

So here's the deal - get one of those monster breast packs, a box mix of rice pilaf, some vegetables (I went with carrots and cauliflower) some chicken stock, some sprigs of fresh rosemary, diced garlic (you do still have that jar, right?) and 2 tbs of butter. 

Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides, just to get it seasoned, about 2 teaspoons of each. 

Set three over racks - one at the bottom, one 8" from the broilier (I am assuming you have an oven with the heating element at the top) and one in about the middle. Heat the over to 250F. 

Put some aluminum foil on a cookie sheet, then put a cooling rack on top of that. That's the roasting rig for the chicken. 

Take a second cookie sheet, coat it with aluminum foil and some cooking spray, and chop up the vegetables into fairly big chunks - a inch, inch a half per side, enough to be an independent bite - before mixing a tablespoon of oil over them. Put those on the second cookie sheet. 

All that prep done, heat some vegetable oil in a skillet until it's shimmering. Which honestly just looks neat. Then lay two of the chicken breasts in the skillet skin side down, cook for 3-4 minutes till the chicken skin has some color and come away from the pan easily. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes It will not be cooked all the way through by a long shot. Move to the cookie sheet cooking rack rig, skin side up.

Repeat with the other breasts. Put the chicken on the middle rack, and the vegitables on the lower rack and let it cook FOREVER! Well, until the inside of the biggest piece is 160F which could be 1.5 to 2 hours. (If you have a probe thermometer with the cord and outside sensor, that's ideal for this.)

Take the skillet off heat, add 3/4 of a cup of chicken stock, scrape the bottom of the skillet with a spatula or wooden spoon to get the browned bits up, and add 2 teaspoons of garlic and the rosemary sprigs and just let it sit while the chicken cooks.

When the chicken gets up to about 140F or a half hour before dinner time, make the box rice per the box rice instructions. Come on, you can do this. Or, if it worries you, use couscous instead. NO ONE CAN SCREW UP BOX COUSCOUS!

When the thermometer indicates the chicken is ready, take it out, and set the oven to Broil. Leave the veggies where they are. Pour the drippings off the cookie sheet into the now cool skillet of chicken stock, rosemary and garlic. Then turn the heat back on, bring it to a boil and then down to a simmer, which is like a boil, but slower and less bubbly. In 10 minutes put the chicken back on the upper rack and let it cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the skin gets nicely brown and crispy. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't blacken. 

While this is happening, cut up the butter and whisk it into the sauce. Once the butter is fully melted in, run the sauce through a strainer to get the garlic and rosemary out. The rice should be done and the chicken and garlic will come out at the same time. 

Serve to a grateful family. Note that in my family of 4 we needed ONE of these chicken breasts for the first nights dinner. You now have a metric fuckton of leftover perfectly roasted white meat chicken for any number of other uses. We used one for chicken salad one meal and quesadillas the next 

No comments:

Post a Comment