After almost two weeks in China the one thing I wanted eat more than anything when we got home was a nice, comforting roast chicken. Twelve days of eating things that while wildly satisfying. Except for the degradation and humiliation of the absolute garbage they call in-flight meal service on United Airlines. On our two long legs between SFO and China, the food was virtually inedible. By contrast, on a mere two hour hop from Shanghai to Hong Kong, we had an exceptionally satisfying Hindu meal on Cathay Pacific (pictured at right. It may not look like much in the photo, but it was delicious!). It seems domestic airlines are doing everything possible to make air travel an uncomfortable and trying experience.
In any event, due to various commitments and motivational impediments, I didn't get to my chicken until last night. now I think I make a pretty bad ass roast chicken on the grill. It really is as good as any chicken I've ever had out. But I was in the mood to try something different, so I checked on epicurious for some inspiration and came across this interesting sounding take that uses a mustard vinaigrette marinade. It was super easy to whip together, and I have to say the marinade that you stuffed under the skin and brushed on top really did keep the meat super moist, and imparted a very nice but not overpowering flavor, and the chopped fresh herbs that you sprinkle on top combined with the marinade to really intensify the flavor. Was it as good as my normal bird? Not quite, but for a change of pace and for a welcoming touch of soul satisfying comfort food, it worked pretty darn well!
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Roast Chicken with Mustard Vinaigrette
yield: Serves 4
1 6- to 7-pound roasting chicken
1 large shallot
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
2 fresh sage sprigs
1 cup Mustard Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
Preheat oven to 450°F. Pat chicken dry. Season cavity with salt and pepper. Place shallot, 2 rosemary sprigs and 2 sage sprigs in cavity. Slide hand between chicken skin and meat over breast to form pockets. Spread 2 tablespoons vinaigrette under skin over breast meat. Tie legs together to hold shape; tuck wings under body. Place chicken in roasting pan. Brush 2 tablespoons vinaigrette over chicken. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary and sage. Season with salt and pepper.
Roast chicken 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Continue roasting until juices run clear when chicken is pierced in thickest part of thigh, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
Serve with remaining vinaigrette.
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yield: Makes about 1 1/2 cups
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
2/3 cup chopped shallots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
Mix mustard and vinegar in bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Mix in shallots and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover, chill. Bring to room temperature, mix before using.)
One year ago today: An amazingly fabulous pumpkin cake!