Dinner with Keller and Batali

Roast Chicken

Dinner last night was a roasted chicken cooked very simply according to Thomas Keller’s instructions here. You almost can’t call it a recipe, because it was so simple—4 lb chicken rinsed and dried thoroughly, S&P inside and out, roasted at 450F for 70 minutes until temped out—but it made a fantastically juicy chicken with lovely crisp skin. Totally forgot about the thyme until just now, but we didn’t miss it at all.

While the chicken rested (and released so much juice that it kept spilling off my cutting board and onto the floor, despite my attempts to catch and preserve it… I really need a cutting board with a deeper moat and an unbowed surface), I made pan roasted turnips from Mario Batali’s Molto Italiano, heated some frozen corn, and made the pan juices into a lovely flavorful jus to drizzle over the chicken. The jus was my own little tweak, as Keller suggested serving the chicken with butter and mustard. I deglazed the roasting pan with a little water and white wine, transferred to a small saucepan and skimmed off a good bit of the fat, then reduced it until it was quite concentrated. At the end I added in a dollop of grainy mustard and stirred it through, and it added a lovely piquant flavor to the jus that I really liked.

The turnips weren’t that good. I think I just didn’t get quality turnips. I cooked them for quite a bit longer than called for, and they came out looking lovely and dark brown just like the photo. However, despite using very small turnips and cutting them into eighths, some of them were still hard, and fibrous in a really inedible way. The ones that cooked through were nice, though, so I’d consider making turnip dishes in the future if I can find fresh ones at the farmer’s market this summer.

One final note: After we finished eating and got our plates put away, Jeremy gave Freyja a few bites of chicken. It was her first people food, and she absolutely loved it. A few minutes later she came back over to Jeremy and barked at him to ask for more. We didn’t oblige because we don’t want to encourage her begging, but it was awfully cute.

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