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Friday, June 17, 2016

Whole Roasted Garlic Chicken with Chardonnay Butter Sauce

From: ArcaMax Publishing's "Wolfgang Puck, Tribune Content Agency" (10/22/2014)


Notes from Wolfgang: Elevate a basic roast chicken with spice and savory pan sauce! Lately, I've been thinking a lot about roast chicken. And I have both practical and emotional reasons.

The practical reason is that my culinary team and I recently developed a revolutionary new countertop pressure oven you might have heard about. Among many other seemingly miraculous feats, it can roast a whole chicken straight out of the refrigerator in only about 40 minutes, producing flavorful, juicy meat and crisply browned skinned. (And it can also roast a whole turkey weighing 14-1/2 pounds, or 6.5 kg, in under an hour!) So we're having fun coming up with new ideas for seasoning and garnishing those chickens in all kinds of ways.
But there's also the matter of comfort. As autumn brings cooler weather and shorter days, a whole roast chicken is one of the most heartwarming meals. Just imagine how happily most of your family and friends respond when you tell them you're roasting a chicken for dinner -- especially if they're invited!

That's why I'd like to share some of my favorite tips for turning a simple roast chicken into something extraordinary, regardless of whether you cook it in a regular oven or my pressure oven. (If you use the latter, follow the guidelines in its instruction booklet along with the recipe here.)

First, I like to flavor the chicken by rubbing it underneath its skin with olive oil and seasonings. Here, I use minced garlic and fresh parsley; but you could substitute or add other herbs or seasonings you like, from other flavorful herbs or oils you like to ground spices or spice blends such as chili powder or curry powder. More oil rubbed on the outside of the skin along with salt and pepper encourages browning and enhances the flavor even more.

Next, I truss the chicken simply by tying kitchen string around its drumstick ends and tucking in the wing tips. This keeps it more compact for even roasting. I use a two-temperature method for roasting -- starting with high heat to promote browning, then continuing at a lower temperature for even cooking -- and I turn the bird regularly for the same reasons.

My final tip is my favorite of all. While the roast chicken rests so its bubbling hot juices settle back into the meat before carving, I make a quick pan sauce. You'll find that the pan drippings, enhanced by the seasonings, have formed a rich brown glaze. By quickly deglazing on the stovetop with some wine, then reducing the liquid and adding a touch of butter, you'll wind up with a delicious sauce that will perfectly complement the chicken and win everyone's admiration.

And, no doubt, you'll start thinking a lot about your next roast chicken, too.

Whole Roasted Garlic Chicken with Chardonnay Butter Sauce

Serves 4


1 whole organic roasting chicken, about 4 ​1/2 lbs (2 kg)
2 tablespoons (30 ml)​ extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra as needed
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons (30 ml)​ chopped fresh Italian parsley plus extra for garnish
​kosher​ salt
​freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (125 ml) Chardonnay
2 tablespoons (30 ml) ​freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons (45 ml)​ unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped fresh tarragon leaves, plus extra for garnish
1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges, for garnish


​1. ​Preheat the oven to 450ºF (23​0ºC). Remove any excess fat from the openings of the chicken.

​2. ​Lightly oil a flameproof roasting pan large enough to hold the chicken. In a small bowl, toss together the garlic and parsley. Starting at the neck opening of the chicken, ease your clean fingers between the skin and the meat over each side of the breast, taking care not to tear the skin. With your fingers, evenly distribute the garlic-parsley mixture between the skin and breast meat. Rub the outer surface of the chicken all over with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Tuck the wing tips underneath the wings to secure them alongside the body. With a piece of kitchen string, tie together the ends of the drumsticks.

​3. ​Place the chicken in the roasting pan breast side down. Put the pan in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to 350ºF (175º C​), carefully turn the chicken onto its side, and roast 15 minutes longer. Turn the chicken onto its other side and roast for another 15 minutes. Finally, turn the chicken breast side up and continue roasting until the skin is nicely browned, the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with the tip of a thin, sharp knife at the thickest part of the thigh, and a thermometer inserted deep into the thigh meat not touching bone registers 170º F​(77ºC), about 1 hour longer.

​4. ​Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the chicken to a serving platter, cover it with heavy-duty aluminum foil, and leave it to rest while you prepare the pan sauce.

​5. ​Carefully pour off excess fat from the roasting pan. Put the pan on the stovetop over high heat, add the Chardonnay, and stir and scrape with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan deposits. Stir in the lemon juice. Bring the liquid to a boil and continue boiling until its volume reduces by half, 2 to 3 minutes. A piece at a time, whisk in the butter. Stir in the tarragon.

​6. ​Carefully pour the sauce into a blender. Following manufacturer's instructions to avoid splattering of hot liquids, blend the sauce until it's smooth and has a nice pale-green color. Taste and, if necessary, adjust the seasonings by pulsing in a little more salt and pepper.

​7. ​With a large, sharp knife, cut the chicken into serving pieces. Spoon the sauce onto warmed serving plates and place the chicken pieces on top. Garnish with chopped tarragon and parsley and with lemon wedges for each person to squeeze over the chicken as desired.

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