I have to admit, I'm happy it's going to be a little chilly and rainy for the next few days -- one more chance to roast a chicken without worrying about turning our kitchen into a sauna. Our old house likes to hold onto the heat on summer days and use of the oven is relegated to absolutely necessary things like birthday cakes and chocolate chip cookies. So, when I opened my CSA box a few days ago and saw a whole chicken, I knew what was for dinner!
But the question remained -- what was special enough to pass muster for my first blog post for the Lake Superior CSA??
Food inspiration comes in all sorts of packages and in the case of this chicken board -- it came from the magical world of Instagram and their algorithms. One morning, bright and early thanks to Aldo and his tiny bladder, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and a picture of a pile of chicken, potatoes, and greens on a wooden board flew by and I quickly started back-pedaling (or whatever scrolling backwards is called) to figure out what that amazing photo was all about.
Turns out it was all about a restaurant in Aspen called Meat & Cheese Restaurant Farm Shop that has a variety of different boards topped with all sorts of good stuff: sausage, steak, bread, biscuits, and pate. Needless to say, if I end up in Aspen anytime in the future -- I know where I'm eating dinner (since I don't ski, eating seems like the next best thing to do in the Rocky Mountains).
I did a quick Google search to see if there were any recipes on-line for the chicken and vinaigrette and came up empty handed so I opened my fridge and grabbed my old stand-bys: preserved lemon, butter, and some fresh herbs. This meal is really about the vinaigrette and presentation, you can make any sort of roasted chicken and vegetables you'd like (I roasted the radishes that were in our CSA box). Since a major component of the vinaigrette is the chicken/pan juices, I decided to make a flavorful compound butter in order to ensure the vinaigrette was top-notch.
Chicken Board with Roasted Vegetables and Vinaigrette
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), at room temperature
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary , chopped
1/2 of a preserved lemon, minced, or 1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 whole chicken from Heritage Acres
Vegetables for roasting (I used a half of a lemon (thinly sliced), Great Oak Farm radishes, and 2 medium onions), tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper
Fresh greens (I used River Road Farm's spring mix) dressed with freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons sherry or red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
All of the pan drippings (in order to get as much of the good chicken juices as possible, let the chicken rest, on the pan with the vegetables, for 5 - 10 minutes. Cover the chicken/vegetables with aluminum foil to keep it warm while it’s resting)
Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients for the compound butter except chicken, vegetables and fresh greens and mix thoroughly. Spatchcock the chicken (cut out the backbone and then flatten with your hands, pressing in between the breasts). Loosen the chicken skin over the breasts, thighs and legs and rub the compound butter under the skin. Rub any remaining butter on the outside of the bird, place on the parchment lined sheet tray, and place in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and place the onion and lemon slices around the chicken. Place in oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours, or until the breasts and thighs reach 165 degrees.
While the chicken is cooking, remove the tops of the radishes and cut the radishes in half or quarters (depending on how large they are), toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a parchment covered sheet tray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, Dijon, vinegar, olive oil, and maple syrup and set aside.
Take the chicken out of the oven and let rest for 15 minutes, covered (see above). While the chicken in resting, increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees, place the radishes in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
Cut the chicken into pieces and place it on a large platter, parchment covered cookie sheet, or wooden board with the vegetables and greens. Quickly whisk in the pan juices and drippings into the Dijon/vinegar mixture and serve immediately alongside the chicken, vegetables, and greens.