Sam of Becks & Posh and Carolyn of 18thC Cuisine and yours truly had so much fun last month creating and cooking away for the premiere edition of The Paper Chef that we could not that wait for the creator of this event, Owen of Tomatilla, to announce the ingredients for the second edition.
As soon as the announcement was made that the four ingredients to be used were to be Chicken, Meyer Lemons, Savoy Cabbage and Potatoes a bell rang in my head. Roasted Chicken!
It is one of my favorite things to eat and to cook and I was sure all these ingredients would work perfectly together. I had the Meyer lemons in my refrigerator, I picked up beautiful Yukon Golds and local and amazingly fresh Chanterelle mushrooms (from Olympia, the last of the season) while on shopping expedition to Pike Place Market yesterday. Earlier today, I sent Mr. C to Larry's in Queen Anne to get my a nice free range chicken and a beautiful head of Savoy Cabbage.
The plan was to put together a roasted chicken dish--nothing elaborate or particularly award winning-- a comforting meal with plenty of different textures, colors and nuances of flavor. Just an original one pot dish for Sunday supper that would not only qualify for this fun experiment but also serve as early dinner and Monday's lunch. And since Mr. C had spent the week in Fairbanks, Alaska on business, I was sure he would appreciate a home cooked meal on this snowy Seattle day to welcome him home.
To assure that the chicken would be not only succulent but also very moist, I marinated it ahead of time with the Meyer lemon juice--no zest this time--, garlic, fresh thyme, red pepper flakes and Maldon salt. I also used the Savoy cabbage leaves, stacked two by two as cups with couple mushrooms and onion slices onion to serve as a bed on which to place the chicken skin side down.
By doing this the chicken was infused even more with the chanterelle and onion flavors and the juices sitting at the bottom of the cup helped keep the meat moist and tender. This was particularly useful for the white meat portions, the breast/wing sections, which even though they are not my favorite part of the chicken they happen to be Mr.C's meat of choice.
I'm happy to report this ended up being quite the dish! The Meyer lemons, my very good friends, yet again were the stars in this effort and did not disappoint. They mellowed out without losing their floral notes. Every bite of these caramelized yellow marvels was delightfully refreshing and scented, infusing the sauce with a lovely citrus tang but none of the average lemon's pithy bitterness.
The Savoy cups got tender and felt apart in parts while the curly edges crisped and became golden, creating yet another nuance of flavor and added depth to the dish. The potatoes cooked and became creamy yet firm while the mushrooms soaked up all the juices at the bottom of the pan.
The sauce had a lovely color and the skin of the chicken had enough time to get crispy and golden without becoming mahogany brown. And because of the addition of the Bartolini White Truffle Infused Olive Oil the whole thing became scented with the loveliest of aromas, one of my favorites in the food world, a barely there hint of white truffle that was just the right accent to this simple but incredibly satisfying meal.
Thank you once again Owen, once again, for promoting and enabling culinary creativity and for facilitating this truly fun exercise that I hope more and more bloggers participate in.
Roasted Meyer Lemon Chicken with Savoy Cabbage, Chanterelles and Yukon Golds
1 chicken, cut into 4 pieces (breast/wing and drumstick/thigh)
2 Meyer Lemon (one cut into sixths and the other to marinate chicken)
8 leaves of Savoy Cabbage, stacked two by two
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes halved
1/4 pound fresh chanterelles, cup up in halves
1/2 Mayan sweet onion, sliced thick
3 cloves garlic, minced (for marinade)
5 sprigs of thyme
2 tablespoons white truffle infused olive oil
red pepper flakes and Maldon salt to taste
1 tablespoon butter (I used Devonshire cream butter)
Pre-heat the oven to 450F. Marinate the chicken with the truffle olive oil, lemon, garlic, thyme, salt and red pepper flakes and refrigerate for an hour. Place the lemon and onion slices, mushrooms and potatoes (cut side down) into a roasting dish. Place chicken on top of Savoy leaves and vegetables, making sure skin side is down.
Cover tightly with foil and put in the oven to cook for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the foil from the roasting tin, and turn the chicken over, skin side up and cook uncovered for another 30 minutes. By then the skin should be golden and crisp. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes before plating. Serves 4.
*We had this with my favorite Alsatian sparkling wine, a crisp and cold Crémant d'Alsace Brut Lucien Albrecht purchased at Larry's Market in Queen Anne.