Spring! Chicken! Roasting! Grilling! Yes, we're excited.

Roasted chicken inspired by longer days and hungrier people

We’ve been on an Italy jag lately, as you may have noticed. There’s no question I had a bit of Siena and Montepulciano on my mind when I came up with this. But this is my own. 

The main technique in this dish is browning the chicken, skin-side down, in your largest EuroCAST Dutch oven, sautéing the aromatics, and scraping up the browned bits with a little white wine. And that’s a technique you can use all your life. It’s even easier because of the non-stick qualities of the Dutch oven. The remaining effort is like falling off a log: Toss all that goodness  into your EuroCAST double roaster’s lid, and let the afternoon — and your oven — go about its merry business.

Spring Chicken

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You can do this with a whole organic chicken cut into pieces, but use any combination chicken parts you enjoy. I love thighs and legs, so I’m going with those.

Check the procedure for ingredients … and be sure you have Castelvetrano olives (2 cups) on hand. These are the best.

  • Bring 4 chicken thighs and 4 chicken legs to room temperature. Salt and pepper them well. 

  • Cut 1 white onion into halves and then into rings. Set aside.

  • In your largest EuroCAST Dutch oven, heat at medium-high temperature 1/2 cup of olive oil. Then sear the pieces skin side down until well-browned. 

  • While the chicken is searing, place 2 fennel bulbs, woody ends trimmed and cut into rounds, into the lid of your EuroCAST double roaster (the grill pan part). When you’re disassembling the fennel,  pull off the fronds and set them aside — you’ll be using them for garnish after the chicken comes out of the oven. 

  • Also place the onion rings into the pan.

  • When your sear is done, use silicone-tipped tongs to move the chicken pieces from the Dutch oven to the double roster lid, placing the chicken pieces on top of the fennel bulbs and onion rings.

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Pour off the fat you rendered in the Dutch oven, and wipe out the pan. (No need to clean it!)

Now, preheat your oven to 400F. 

While your oven comes to temperature, heat your EuroCAST Dutch oven on the stovetop to a medium heat, and add 1/4 cup olive oil. 

When the olive oil is hot but not smoking, brown, add to the Dutch oven:

  • 1 head garlic, peeled and separated into cloves. Smash away. Some people smash at the beginning and then take the paper off. Other people take the paper off and then smash. But do smash. I like the smashing part, because I’ve always loved the Hulk. #marvelcinematicuniverse

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After the garlic is lightly brown and the garlic flavor has infused into the olive oil, add: 

  • 2 T fennel seeds

  • 1 whole tin anchovies, each filet broken up with the edge of a wooden spoon

  • 2 glasses white wine, or 1/2 cup cider vinegar and 1-1/2 cups water

  • 1 whole jar capers, brine included

  • Stir and allow to simmer and slightly reduce.

  • Pour then contents of the Dutch oven over the chicken and vegetables waiting in your double roaster lid.

  • Add 1 cup of Castelvetrano olives.

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Bake in your 400F oven until the chicken is fork tender and the juices run clear (about 30 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken pieces you’re using).

After removing from the oven, let cool slightly before garnishing.

Before serving, garnish with: 

  • 1 cup of Castelvetrano olives

  • Red pepper flakes

  • Aleppo flakes

  • Fennel fronds

  • Fennel pollen if you fancy (you bought some for one of our recipes recently, right? If not, check it out, because fennel pollen is heaven and a little goes a long way)

Will it be good? Definitely. In fact, it was so good, my daughter ate it like a velociraptor. Had me humming the theme to Jurassic Park.

One last recommendation: Put all this on a platter and take it outside to give your family and friends a feast in the Spring air.

There’s nothing better.

Unless you need a side dish. Scroll down for a really, really easy roasted potato dish you can make at the same time, in the same oven, as the chicken!


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While you’re at it: Serving suggestion

If you're feeding a big crew, you can double-team your oven by making some roasted potatoes at the same time your bird beast is cooking. The result: Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside roasted potatoes to go along with your chicken.

  • Use Rose Gold potatoes (two per person) cut into halves, or quarters if they’re large

  • In a EuroCAST skillet, add the potatoes and drizzle with a wee bit of high quality olive oil and a good amount of kosher salt

  • Remove the skillet handle.

  • Slide into the oven along side the chicken. The chicken will probably be done a few minutes before the potatoes, so take out the chicken when its ready and keep the potatoes in the oven until fork-tender, about 40-45 minutes.

Or, if you’ve got eaters with the tastes of my little girl-chicken (aka Velociraptor Progeny), steam up some brown rice and have it that way, alongside chicken.

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Have you missed any of these recent Recipes of the Week?

Paul WardComment