Thomas Keller’s Roast Chicken

Bubbly Kitchen is definitely fighting the winter blues with hearty comfort food. Its a bit gray outside today and I find myself day dreaming of warmer days and Royals baseball. And then I remember that we have this whole hideous month of February to get through. But this amazing meal will fill your kitchen with warmth and all of the good smells.

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I adapted this recipe from Thomas Keller’s book, Ad Hoc. Every recipe in that book is on my to do list. But I thought that I would listen to TK and start with perfecting a roast chicken, he says this will make me a better chef. This chicken is so, so good. I definitely followed the instructions which included letting the skin dry out on the counter for an hour and salting the chicken 30 minutes before cooking it. This made an incredibly delicious and perfect skin. The inside is extremely juicy and full of flavor.

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I will be honest and say I have never purchased or eaten rutabaga (that I know of) before I made this recipe. And it was really good actually. The vegetables here are just incredible. They are not only picture perfect but they have excellent flavor. I mean it when I say, the vegetables are just as good as the chicken. I used a regular chicken from Trader Joes for this recipe, nothing too expensive or special. I am still on the hunt for local poultry and eggs in KC that is easily accessible.

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If you have leftover chicken it is perfect for Chicken Pot Pie Soup, Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas, Chicken and Wild Rice Hotdish, or Creamy Chicken and Farro (Recipe coming soon!!). If you are craving some carbs with this meal, brown rice or quinoa are perfect accompaniments.

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Thomas Keller’s Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables

4 lb chicken
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
8 thyme sprigs
2 large leeks, green leaves cut off, and then cut in half
2 rutabagas, cut off the ends and peel off hard outer layers, chop into one inch pieces
2 turnips, cut off the ends and peel off hard outer layers, chop into one inch pieces
4 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 yellow onion quartered
8 small red potatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
4 tbsp butter at room temperature
Kitchen string

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Take chicken out of the fridge and sprinkle generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper as well. Place half the garlic cloves inside the chicken and half the thyme sprigs. Allow to sit out in the air for at least 30 minutes. Truss the chicken with kitchen string, see here.

In a large metal bowl, place all of the chopped vegetables, remaining garlic and thyme. Pour 1/4 cup olive oil over the vegetables and toss to coat.

Slather the chicken with oil, add more salt and pepper as needed, there should be a generous coating.

Place the root vegetables in a large roasting pan in an even layer. Place the chicken on top of this and coat the top of the chicken with butter.

Roast the chicken for 20 minutes at 475 degrees, then reduce the heat to 400 degrees. Roast for 45 minutes more. The chicken is done when the juices run clear and the inside temperature is 160 degrees.

Allow the chicken to rest for 20 minutes prior to carving. Mix up the vegetables and serve.

Adapted from Ad Hoc.

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