Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Easy Weekday Roasted Chicken with Local Tomatoes and Herbs

Here's an easy (and inexpensive) recipe that you can make using a whole chicken or chicken quarters from Dewberry Hills Farms (Wheatsville or SFC Sunset Valley Farmers' Market), Smith and Smith Farm (Downtown Famers' Market) or Countryside Farm(Downtown Famers' Market). 

For the bread and vegetable mixture, I've used asparagus, eggplant, artichokes, tomatoes, shallots, carrots, beets, peppers or whatever you have left in the fridge! If you don't have any veggies hiding in the fridge, check Johnson's Backyard Garden (Triangle or Downtown Farmers' Market or sign up for their CSA box) for amazing veggies or Milagro Farms (Triangle or Downtown Farmers' Marketfor incredible garlic . A nice mixed greens salad or braised swiss chard works great with this meal. 

The secret is making sure the skin on the chicken is crisp and to allow the juices to drip onto the bread underneath. 

Preheat your oven to 375

1. Start by cubing good quality bread from Texas French Bread (Triangle or Downtown Farmers' Marketor Swedish Hill Bakery (Wheatsville). For a gluten-free option, use Udi bread from Wheatsville or Central Market or sourdough millet bread from Bona Dea Bread (Downtown Famers' Market or available for pickup in neighborhoods around Austin).

2. Place the bread in the pan and scatter the vegetables throughout the roasting pan along with some minced garlic. 

3.Sprinkle dry or fresh herbs (rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano, lavender). We get our herbs from our garden, but there is an abundance of fresh local herbs at any farmers' market in town or grocery store. 

4. Drizzle a generous amount of grapeseed oil (I like to use the grapeseed oil for high heat cooking and then save the good olive oil to drizzle on the chicken and veggies just before serving.

5. Place the roasting rack/grate back in the roasting pan.

6. Season the chicken by rubbing salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence on the skin and drizzling with little grapeseed oil.

7. Place the chicken on the roasting rack/grate.

8. Roast the chicken for 40-50 minutes depending on your oven.

9. Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes to make sure the juices stay in the chicken!

10. While the chicken is resting, add a little bit of good olive oil such as Texas Olive Ranch Olive Oil  and Texas Olive Ranch Fig Balsamic vinegar (both available at Wheatsville and Central Market or the Downtown Farmers' Market)

11. Mound the bread and vegetables in the middle of the plate with the chicken quarters (whole or use a chef's knife to cut the drumstick and thigh) and add fresh herbs (basil, thyme or rosemary).

12. Enjoy!

Originally uploaded by smaxwell2009

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