Friday, September 14, 2012

Paleoized Jacques Pepin Quick Roasted Chicken

This past Christmas, I had special dinner company and wanted to make something that did not require much prep work or cooking time, but would at the same time impress said company.  I searched the internet a bit found this recipe for Jacques Pepin's Quick Roast Chicken.  

If you look at the ingredient list, there is only one non-paleo item: soy sauce.  This is easily replaced by coconut aminos. But Rachael, there is white wine in the recipe too, is that paleo?  That depends on what variety of paleo you follow.  In my kitchen, I don't consider alcohol that I cook with to be a problem as the alcohol is cooked off during the cooking.  For me, drinking the wine would be a cheat.  If you are doing a Whole30 or simply don't want to cook with wine, you would need to omit the wine and substitute it with something acceptable to you.  There, problem solved.  

First, preheat your oven.  The prep on this recipe does not take long, so you'll want your oven to be ready.

Then take your your trusty kitchen shears and cut out the backbone of the chicken.  Yes, you must get up close and personal with this bird.  The first time I did this, I was very timid as I didn't want to mess the chicken up.

You can't mess the chicken up.  

The worst thing that you could do is cut a little too far away from the back bone and lose some chicken goodness.

Your shears need to be sharp!
Spineless Chicken!

Don't throw that backbone away.  Freeze it to add to a crock pot of homemade chicken broth!
The next step is to lay your chicken flat backside down and flatten the bird.  Just press on the breast of the bird.  You may or not hear a cracking of the breast bone.

Next, slice partway through the joint between thigh and the leg and wing and breast.  I personally never feel like I do this correctly, but the recipe hasn't failed yet.

A flat bird.
Is this right?

Next, you need to mix up the sauce/marinade.  Simply press some garlic, measure out the sauce ingredients and whisk it up.  I love kitchen gadgetry and am beginning to believe that the garlic press is perhaps the best tool I have in my kitchen.  It gives me quick flavor to anything I'm cooking. This is the one I use.  It's nice and heavy to help push the garlic through and has a self cleaning grid to help get the spent garlic out easy.
Easy minced garlic.

Ready to sauce the bird.

I like cooking this dish in my cast iron skillet as it easily goes from the stove top to the oven.  I placed the chicken in breast side down and poured a little less than half on the chicken.  The recipe says half but I've found its better to use a little less on this side.  When you flip the bird and pour the sauce on the breast side of the bird a lot of the sauce will go to the bottom.  I'd rather have the sauce on the bird and not the pan.

Rub the sauce all over.

Pour just enough to cover.
Get it everywhere!

Flip the bird backside down and rub the remaining sauce over the breast side of the chicken.  Put it on a burner and turn it on high heat for five minutes.    
Fully Sauced.
Getting a little brown.
After 5 minutes, put the chicken in the preheated oven and set a timer for 30 minutes.
It looks lonely and naked in there.
After 30 minutes, here is your reward: a beautifully browned chicken!
Oooo! Ahhh!
It seems easiest, at least for me, to remove the legs and thighs from the skillet and then the rest of the bird.  I let the chicken rest a few minutes so that the juice would stay in the chicken before further breaking down the chicken into pieces.  When I separated the breasts, they were perfectly cooked and juicy, not dry.

No dryness here!

While I let the chicken rest, I carefully wiped the grease out of my skillet with paper towels and used some salt and a nylon scrub brush to clean it out.

Don't use soap!
Finally, I plated some chicken! My sides were sauteed green beans and carrots and mashed cauliflower.
Looks like a lovely weeknight dinner.
Cost and Accessibility of Ingredients:  With the exception of the coconut aminos, you should be able to find all of the ingredients at your big box grocery store.  The price of the chicken will vary depending on the quality you buy.  Mine was organic and cost $10.76 at Whole Foods.  

I don't remember how much the wine cost, as its been in my fridge forever as I only use it for cooking.  I do know it was under $10 as when I went to find a dry white wine, I did a little searching on the internet and this was suggested as a good dry white wine under $10.  
Inexpensive flavor.
Prep/Cooking time:  The prep time on this recipe is about 5-10 minutes.  I was going to time myself but found my time was extended due to numerous hand washings while saucing the bird to take pictures.  Don't worry, I gave my iPhone a thorough antibacterial wipe down after cooking.  The cook time is 35 minutes.  This recipe is completely accessible for a weeknight dinner.  While the chicken is cooking, either on the stove top or oven, you can use that time to clean up and make sides.  I used my cheap knife so everything but the skillet went into the dishwasher.  

The Paleo Review:  Thumbs Up!  As though it wasn't obvious, I love this recipe.  It makes a chicken that is company worthy but super quick and easy.  The chicken remains juicy through out and has a delightful light flavor from the sauce.  The skin is crispy!  Perfection!  The next time you have special company for dinner give this chicken a try, or just make it for yourself. You'll love the leftovers!

Did you know that The Paleo Review now has a Facebook page?  If you like what you read, pop over to Facebook and give us a like.  I'm also on twitter.  On Monday, there will be a huge announcement!  Here is a hint.
Big Announcement!