Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Whole Roasted Balsamic Chicken with Fennel and Brussels Sprouts

My husband requested balsamic chicken a couple weeks so this is where this recipe came from.  I used Giada's marinade as my base and I modified the recipe to accommodate a whole chicken.  I also wanted to show you guys a way to cook a whole chicken in half the time by removing the backbone and thigh bones because usually a whole roasted chicken takes 1 1/2 hours to cook through.  It is extremely useful to know how to do this.  If you are feeling a little ambitious, you can easily do this on a weeknight too. 

Makes 4 to 6 servings

for the chicken:
1 4-pound chicken (giblets and neck bone removed), washed and scrubbed
Coarse kosher salt

for the marinade:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

for the roasted veggies:
2 fennel bulbs, outer layers removed and chopped (keep the core in tact so the fennel chunks stay together)
2 cups Brussels sprouts, outer layers removed and cut horizontally in half
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

for the gravy:
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon arrowroot

for finishing:
1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Place the clean whole chicken in a large bowl or baking pan.  With sharp kitchen sheers, remove the backbone and thigh bones.

For the marinade, mix together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Rub the marinade all over the chicken and let the chicken rest for at least 1 hour.  With a spoon, scoop the marinade over the chicken from time to time.  In the meantime, put the fennel and Brussels sprouts in a big bowl.  Lightly season them with salt and pepper and toss with a drizzle of olive oil.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

On the bottom layer of the roasting pan, evenly distribute the fennel and Brussels sprouts.  Place the chicken on top of veggies and cover the pan with aluminum foil.  Reserve the leftover marinade.

Roast the chicken for 25 minutes.  Take off the foil and roast for another 20 minutes or so.  If you see the chicken browning too fast, place the foil back over the chicken.  The internal temperature of the chicken thighs should reach 165 degrees F.  When you take the chicken out of the oven, cover it in foil and let the chicken rest for 20 minutes before serving to let the juices redistribute throughout the chicken and finish cooking.  Sprinkle the roasted chicken and veggies with parsley.

In a small saucepan, add the reserved marinade and water.  Whisk in arrowroot and simmer the mixture for a few minutes.  Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly.  Serve with chicken.

To wash and scrub the chicken, I used coarse kosher salt to rub all over the chicken.  Rinse him off with fresh water.  Now to butcher the chicken I wanted to show a picture of the backbone.  I am cutting the backbone out with sharp kitchen shears.  This is the easy part because the backbone is easy to find.  

The harder part is finding the thigh bones.  The thigh bones connect the drumstick to the rest of the body.  In the left picture below, my thumb is pressing against the thigh bone.  You can see the top of the thigh bone in the image (I guess that is the knuckle).  I used my kitchen shears to carefully cut the flesh and remove the thigh bones.  There will be tendons and fibers you will have to cut away at but it is totally doable.  I reserved the backbone and thigh bones for later use.  These scraps are great for making chicken stock.

I marinaded the chicken at room temperature for about 1 hour but you can also refrigerate him for up to a day, if you don't plan on roasting right away.

I love a lot of vegetables but I adore fennel and Brussels sprouts so this was an easy choice for me at the grocery store.  You can use anything you want for example potatoes, onions, carrots, etc.

I poured the leftover marinade into a saucepan.  I didn't want all that flavor to go to waste!  When you serve the roasted chicken and veggies, drizzle some extra sauce on it to keep everything extra moist and flavorful.

I love me some roasted chicken!  I also love fried chicken but if a chicken is roasted well, it is super moist and totally delicious.  I don't know what I enjoy eating more.... decisions, decisions.... 


Maria @ Orchard Bloom said...

this looks amazing!

Oh Sweet Escape said...

thanks maria :)

Abigail's Place said...

Looks delicious , love chicken and different recipes!
Great photos too!
You have a lovely blog, now following!

Abigail x

Gild and Grace said...

Looks divine! Will have to test it out :)

Abbey x

designchic said...

I can almost smell the delicious chicken...the recipe sounds wonderful!!

Land of Nams said...

Dude...I must ask...which camera and lens do you use?

Oh Sweet Escape said...

thanks for all the sweet comments :)

namrata, i use a canon rebel t2i and the lens is 50mm 1.4. the lighting helps the pictures turn out well. i think it is all lighting and the 1.4 lens creates a cool blurry background.

DrunkOnShoes said...

omg yummers!!! i totally prefer roasted over fried. IF it's roasted well. I think I might have to try this for xmas! =D

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