Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Roasted Garlic Roasted Breast of Chicken

Roasted Chicken with Roasted Garlic

I like perfectly roasted food. Meats of all types taste like they should. Vegetables, especially root vegetables, become stars in their own right. And any excuse to cook with or otherwise consume Roasted Garlic is a noble and virtuous thing! The taste is amazing, and not nearly common enough, which I suppose is what keeps us from getting bored but who could get bored with that! So saying “roasted”, twice in the name of this recipe is not a typo.

Roasting is also a cooking method that gives you the opportunity to prepare a side dish that might take a little more attention that you can afford now, because the roasting main course is pretty much taking care of itself! Roasting chicken, either in whole or in parts, give you places to stick flavor enhancing items that other meats cannot provide. And I make good use of that in this recipe to end up with a super juicy, super flavorful dish.

Roasted Garlic Roasted Breast of Chicken
Yield: 4 Servings     Preparation Time: 15 Minutes     Cooking Time: 1 Hour


• 4 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
• 1½ Cups Dry White Wine
• 1 Head of Roasted Garlic
• 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, softened
• 1 Teaspoon Herbes de Provence
• 1 Teaspoon Sweet Paprika
• 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
• 4 Leeks, white part only cut in half lengthwise
• 4 Chicken Breast Halves, skin on with bones
• 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
• 1 Cup Chicken Stock, homemade or Low Sodium store bought
• 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, keep refrigerated

Preparation Steps

Step 1. Put the Rosemary in a small sauce pan, cover with 1 cup of the Dry White Wine and set over low heat until the wine begins to simmer gently. Simmer for 1 minute then cover and remove from heat and set aside until cooled.

Step 2. Squeeze all of the Roasted Garlic into a small bowl along with the Unsalted Butter, Herbes de Provence, Paprika and 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt then mash to form a paste.

Step 3. Preheat oven to 425ºF.  Arrange the leeks, cut sides down, in a roasting pan or Dutch oven to form “racks” on which to place the Chicken Breasts.
Roasted Chicken

Step 4. Rinse the Chicken Breasts and pat dry. Loosen skin and spread the garlic paste between skin and meat, using your fingers only and then rub the skin with your fingers to spread the garlic paste evenly under the skin and to apply a light coat of the buttery garlic mix on the surface. Sprinkle the skin with the remaining 1 teaspoon of the Kosher Salt and the Freshly Ground Black Pepper.

Step 5. Place the Chicken Breasts, skin side up, on top of the Leeks and lay a sprig of Rosemary on top of each breast. Pour the Wine into the bottom of the roasting pan – not over the Chicken. Put the Chicken in the oven for 15 minutes at 425ºF and then reduce heat to 350ºF and roast for another 45 minutes. Remove Chicken to a platter and loosely cover with foil for 10 minutes.

Step 6. Set the roasting pan over medium heat and add the chicken stock, the remaining ½ cup of Wine and any juices from the resting Chicken, scraping to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Cook until the liquid in the pan reduces by half and remove from heat and stir in the 2 tablespoons of chilled butter. Pour sauce though a wire mesh strainer to remove all of the solids.

Step 7. While the sauce is reducing, separate the bones from the Chicken Breasts while leaving the crispy skin intact.

Spoon the strained sauce over the Chicken Breasts and serve with Buttered Orzo and Sautéed Spinach.

Tips and Trending

~ Although it is perfectly acceptable to cut this or any other roasted chicken breast recipe in half, you should never do that. The leftover meat will make the best chicken salad or just sliced chicken breast sandwiches! When I use the remaining breast(s) from this recipe to create a chicken salad, I make sure to scrape every last bit of the roasted garlic paste, hiding under the skin, into my chicken salad.

~ Using vegetables as a roasting rack accomplishes several things; it adds another flavor dimension to the dish as it cooks and in whatever sauce you finish the dish with. If not used in the sauce, the roasted vegetables can be frozen to be added to stock at a later time. And best of all, no rack to wash up!

~ Speaking of stock – freeze the green and the root parts of the leeks to be used in stock later too. In fact, every carrot and potato peel, every onion or celery end, every trimmed off bit of the fresh vegetables you routinely cook should be tossed into a zippered freezer bag and saved to make stock.

~ You can elect to leave the meat on the bones in this recipe, but the presentation is much better and you can save the bones to make stock. (Is there a theme developing here?) However, it is better to leave the bones intact when serving than to use boneless chicken and/or especially boneless, skinless chicken in this or any roasted chicken recipe.

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