Well foodie friends I've got to tell you something, I have finally mastered roasted chicken. I have been obsessing over it, and been making roasted chicken almost every weekend. It is SO good, and it always feels kind of fancy. If you haven't noticed, I kinda like fancy stuff. I have roasted chicken so many different ways- forty cloves of garlic, artichoke and mushroom, lemon, you name it, I've probably roasted it. I am confident I could make roasted chicken out of just about anything now. And that is a good place to be.
• bone in, skin on chicken, either 1 whole chicken cut into 8 pieces, 6 thighs, or 3 leg quarters
• 1 large sweet onion, sliced
• 1 shallot, sliced
• 1/2 lb. bacon
• 3 large apples (I like to use a bitter apple, like Granny Smith), cored and sliced into 1/4 inch moons
• 1 cup white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
• olive oil
• 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
Start by pre-heating the oven to 450˚F
Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season both sides with salt and pepper.
Brown the bacon and render the bacon fat. The bacon does not have to be all the way cooked, because you are going to roast it in the oven as well, but you want to get the bacon grease flowing.
Remove browned bacon from pan and start searing the chicken, skin side down in the same pan, over medium-high heat. This means basically frying the chicken lightly in oil into brown and crispy, about 5 minutes, flip chicken and cook for a few minutes more.
Remove the chicken and hold on a plate or in a dish until ready.
Check your bacon fat in the bottom of the pan, if it's getting low add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan generously (up to 2 tablespoons). Turn the pan down to medium, and add the onions, shallots and apple. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onions and shallots far softened and the apples are starting to brown.
Add in the wine at this point and add a spring of activated thyme (run the spring through your closed fist, crushing the leaves a little), deglaze the pan as needed, simmer for a few minutes. Remove the Thyme spring.
Nestle the chicken pieces into this mixture, try to get the chicken to be more on the bottom and the onion/shallot/apple mixture more on top.
Rough chop the bacon and toss on top. Add the other 3 springs of thyme as well and top of with a generous sprinkle of fresh ground pepper.
Roast uncovered for 30-45 minutes, until the chicken has an internal temperature of 165˚F.
Remove thyme before serving.
Remove thyme before serving.
The trick to this recipe, for me, is to make it in a dish that can go from stovetop to oven, so a cast iron dutch oven, enameled or otherwise, or even a cast iron skillet would work. If you do not have any of this sort of this, you can use a regular skillet on the stovetop, and a glass or metal casserole in the oven. In my photos you will see I am using an enameled dutch oven, it is probably my favorite pan I own. Since receiving it as a wedding present, I think I use it more than any other pan, at least for cooking dinners. Unfortunately, as I went on with the recipe I soon realized that I wouldn't have room for all the chicken in my dutch ov (I made a slightly larger amount than in the recipe above, this recipe would fit into a 5.5l dutch oven just fine), so I ended up putting it all into a left over disposable turkey pan from Thanksgiving. Yay real life!