Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Roast Chicken with Celery Root



I haven't roasted fowl in quite some time, so I decided to roast some chicken. I added my favorite starchy vegetable, celery root, and some broccoli and herbs from our CSA.

Ingredients:
  • Roast Chicken
  • Rub
    • Ground mustard
    • Garlic salt
    • Paprika
    • Smoked Paprika
    • Celery Salt
    • Black Pepper
    • Cayenne Pepper
    • Kosher Salt
    • Honey
  • Celery Root
  • Broccoli
  • Shallots
  • Thyme
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Oregano
  • Lime
  • Apple Cider

Procedure:
First, I mixed up the rub - mostly mustard, then less of the other spices. I added about 2 tablespoons of honey to make it a wet rub rather than a dry rub. The honey also caramelizes and burns easily at oven temperatures. The honey plus the crustiness that mustard based rubs provide means this bird will be dark in color and will have a skin that feels thicker than usual and crispy.

After cutting up the garlic scapes, celery root, and shallots, I put them in the bottom of a baking pan with a chicken roasting rack and seasoned with salt and pepper. I then stuffed the chicken with the herbs and slices of lime. I worked the rub into the chicken and placed it on the roasting rack breast down. I added a little apple cider so the vegetables would have some moisture.

Everything went in the oven at 450 for about 50 minutes total. About 30 minutes through I flipped the chicken to allow the breast skin to brown. After removing it from the oven, I covered it with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Resulting Deliciousness:
I got just what I was going for with the bird. The skin was thick and crispy and flavorful. The pictures make it look burnt, but there was no burnt taste. The meat underneath was extremely moist thanks to the lime and upside down roasting. Roasting fowl breast down helps keep the breast moist and flavorful. This is because most of the fat in chickens is near the back and around the dark meat. Roasting breast down allows that fat to run down over and through the breast instead of straight out of the chicken. Any citrus is great to stuff a bird with. I like a sliced up lime for chicken, or an orange or two for a turkey. The moisture and flavor really makes a difference.

The roasted vegetables were very flavorful, but just a bit greasy. This is a risk when you roast vegetables under a chicken or other meat. The fat from the chicken adds lots of flavor, but if there is too much it can backfire. For that reason, they are often roasted separately. You can also strain the vegetables right after roasting, but I didn't think to do that. This is less of a problem for vegetables that benefit from soaking up moisture and fat, like potatoes. But, celery root is less porous and can't handle as much fat. Everything tasted great, but the excess fat on the vegetables definitely took away from the dish.
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