Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Roasted Rosemary Chicken with Collard Greens & Garlic Mashed Potatoes

This is one of my favorite chicken preparations and a complete meal on a plate. It is delicious, easy to cook and when paired with collard greens cooked with bacon and garlic-parmesan mashed potatoes drenched with chicken jus, it is simply a great restaurant-quality meal you can have right at home.

Let's start with marinating the chicken. I love crispy chicken skin, so whenever I roast a chicken, I leave the skin on. This also helps to keep the chicken moist with the thin layer of fat just underneath the skin. For the marinade, I use:

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (chopped fine)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Marinade the chicken for an hour or more in the refrigerator. Now we can move on to prepping the other components of the dish. First, the garlic-parmesan mashed potatoes:

2 large Yukon Gold potatoes cut into uniform cubes (boil them in a pot of water)
1/2 cup half & half (warm)
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

When the potatoes are soft, push them through a portable riser and into a mixing bowl. Add all the other ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly and season with salt and pepper. You now have your garlic-parmesan mashed potatoes ready.

Moving on to the collard greens, start a pot of salted water going on the stove. Here's what you need:

1/2 lb. collard greens
1/2 an onion (julienned)
2 cloves garlic
2-3 strips of applewood-smoked bacon
Salt & pepper to taste

Cut the collard green leaves into medium-sized portions, lobbing the hard stem end off. Blanch the collard greens in the boiling pot of water until it is soft. Next, cut up the strips of bacon into good-sized chunks and get them crisping on a hot pan. Add a little vegetable oil if there is not enough fat rendered out of the bacon to sauté the vegetable in. Start with the onions and cook them until soft and then add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Next, add the collard greens, sauté and then season with salt and pepper.

Now that both your side dishes are done, we can move on to the chicken. Get your oven going at 400F. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and get a hot non-stick oven-safe pan going on the stove. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and melt it. Now, lay the chicken, skin side down gently onto the pan and leave it there until it browns. Take it off the stove, pour the rest of the marinade onto the chicken, cover the pan with its lid and put it in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is done.

If you find that the skin is not brown or crispy enough, turn the skin side up and put it under the oven broiler for a minute or two. Now to make the chicken jus gravy for the mashed potatoes.  Remove the chicken from the pan and while it is hot, deglaze with a splash of white wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to get at the nice bits of chicken stuck at the bottom. Add a cup of chicken stock or water and bring to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon increments of all-purpose flour to the gravy until it thickens to the right consistency. Season with salt and pepper if needed. And you are done. Enjoy your meal!

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