Jun. 15th, 2014

cissalj: (scribe)
This is one of our favorite meals. SO easy and good! The juices from the roasting chicken permeate the potatoes, making them extra-tasty. The leftover potatoes do not reheat well, though, which is sad, but they are brilliant freshly cooked.

The underskin rub is optional, but really good, and it does flavor the potatoes. Do not over-salt the potatoes- the chicken juices have salt content themselves.

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High-roasted Butterflied Chicken over Potatoes
Serves 4, generously, especially if you increase the potatoes from 2.5 lbs.

Ingredients:
1 whole chicken- giblets and extra fat removed. Use a really high-quality chicken for this. You're looking for one free-range, and around 4 pounds (a bit smaller or largteer won't hurt, but the timing is for a fryer, not a roaster)

0.5 cup sugar
1 cup kosher salt, or 0.5 cup table salt

2.5-3.5 pounds of russet and/or yellow potatoes, sliced thin (0.125-0.25 in)
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper top taste

1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
1-2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
good pinch of dried thyme

Equipment:
Broiler pan in DARK color. Shiny silver does not work. Mine is enameled steel. This should be a shallow pan that fitys under a slotted, bumpy upper sheet.
Helpful: mandolin slicer, poultry shears

Instructions:
Butterfly the chicken by cutting out its spine. You may also need to use a chef's knife to break the front part of the breast keel bone. Once the spine is gone, flip it over and press down to flatten it. (save spine and neck for chicken stock; save fat for schmaltz; give the innards to critters or eat them.)

Mix salt and sugar into water in a bowl large enough to hold the bird. Once they dissolve, add the bird. Let brine for 1-2 hours.

Meanwhile, slice the potatoes- a mandolin is helpful if you have it. You do not want them paper-thin. Once sliced, soak in cold water.

Also mix up the butter, smashed garlic, mustard, and thyme into a paste.

When you near the end of the brining, heat your oven to 500F.

Line the bottom broiler pan with foil (easier clean-up). Spray with spray oil. Also spray the bottom of the top part of the pan.

Dry the potatoes- a salad spinner works well- and toss with a SMALL amount of salt, some pepper, and the olive oil. lay the slices flat into the foil-lined broiler pan. There will be several layers. make sure the corners aren't too scanty or they will burn.

Spray the top of the top, perforated part of the boiler pan with oil. Position the chicken on, it, flat- the legs should be together, and fold the scrawny tips of the wings under. Using the butter/mustard mix, put a quarter or it each under the skin of each thigh- moving it it the drumstick if possible- and under the skin on each half of the breast.

Dry off the surface and smear with olive oil, and/or salt and pepper if you like. Put the top part of the broiling pan- with the chicken- over the potatoes.

Bake 20-25 min. Rotate 180 degrees, and bake another 20-25 min.

Remove from oven, put the chicken on a plate and cover it to rest.

Meanwhile, turn on broiler, and broil the potatoes until the top is crispy.

Serve hot, especially the potatoes.

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