This is my rift on my mother’s chicken, carrots, and potatoes, which was a weeknight staple at the Giurintano household.   My mom would chop carrots, potatoes, and onion then toss them in olive oil, wine vinegar, and Italian seasoning.  The vegetables were spread out on a cookie sheet and topped with chicken breasts or legs.  A few hours in the oven yielded the perfect caramelized carrots and softened roasted potatoes, coated in chicken drippings.  It was an easy meal that could be thrown in the oven and conveniently forgotten about.   

In my thirties, I was enamored with molecular gastrostomy, or what I lovingly refer to as avant- garde food.  I would watch or read anything about Ferran Adria of El Bulli or Grant Achatz of Alinea.  The countless hours that went into just two bites (or sometimes a single bite) at one of these restaurants was mind blowing to me.  Food became more than just nourishment but high-end entertainment, cinema, art.  I couldn’t get enough of the experience of eating a green apple balloon at Alinea or the re-imagined olive at minibar by Jose Andres. The explosion of liquified olive that coated my mouth not only pleased my palate but also was such a surreal, thought-provoking experience because it looked like an olive.  

In my fourties, I find myself leaning more and more on the classic flavors of my childhood.  Stuffed artichockes, chicken and dumplings, my father’s served-in-the-shell escargot, and, of course, my mother’s chicken, carrots, and potatoes.  Despite my (many) brief forays into eating vegetarian, including one failed attempt to go vegan, the perfect roasted chicken makes me run back to the carnivore camp.  

There is nothing like the perfectly brined and roasted chicken leg with the combination of crunchy browned skin on a cold winter night.  This is a one-pot dinner that when cooked perfectly is just as masterful as leather fruit served in the shape of a beetle (RIP Noma).  Just because a combination of flavors might seem mundane, doesn’t mean that a symphony of flavors can’t be created that only increase in complexity, and deliciousness, with time.  

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Chicken, Carrots, and Potatoes


  • Author: Christina
  • Total Time: 3 hours (not including 2 days in refrigerator for chicken to brine)
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

There is nothing like the perfectly brined and roasted chicken leg with the combination of crunchy browned skin on a cold winter night.  


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 spatchcocked whole chicken (or about 4 pounds of chicken)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs sweet honey mustard
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 6 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 2 pounds carrots
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Instructions

  1. First marinade the chicken: In a large bowl, stir together buttermilk, lemon juice, maple syrup, mustard, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.  Add the spatchcocked chicken and coat in the marinade.
  2. Two days later: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a large cast iron skillet, combine the carrots, potatoes, peeled garlic cloves, lemon wedges, and thyme.  Drizzle the olive oil and red wine vinegar over the potatoes and carrots.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place the chicken on top of the potatoes and carrots.
  3. Roast for 60 minutes or until the skin is nicely browned.  Cover with aluminum foil and roast an additional 30—40 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked.
  4. Remove the chicken and set aside on a plate.  Cover chicken with aluminum foil to keep warm.  Stir the vegetables and place vegetables back in the oven.  Cook vegetables uncovered for an additional 45-60 minutes, or until the carrots and potatoes are soft.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes (not including two days of brining chicken in refrigerator)
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: roast chicken, weeknight dinner

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