This is it – my last Le Creuset recipe (for now). You can find all three recipes here, and I hope you’ve enjoyed checking them out as much as I’ve enjoyed making them. Le Creuset honestly challenged me to take really classic dishes and make them accessible to home cooks, and I think that I did just that. I’d never made a quiche before, and Kramer and I enjoyed the final product so much that I’ve made it a few times since. I had never made a beef tenderloin before, but now I’m confident that I would be able to cook one to perfection anytime, anywhere. Of course, I had roasted a chicken before, but to take it to the next level, I did a little extra preparation and dried the skin out overnight. I’d never bothered to do that before, but I think in the future, if I actually think ahead before I cook, I’m definitely going to do it again. Drawing excess moisture out of a chicken gives you the most incredibly crispy skin, while still retaining all of the juiciness that you come to expect with a simply roasted chicken. I went super classic with this one, using only shallots, lemon, and salt for flavoring, which I think was the right move. Don’t over-think it when it comes to roasted chicken. For serving, though, I decided to make a really easy mustard sauce with the leftover drippings from the chicken. I love mustard and will put it on almost anything that I can, so being able to dip crispy pieces of chicken into a super flavorful mustard sauce was my idea of heaven. You can make a big, green salad to eat alongside this, or maybe blanch some green beans until they’re just tender but still a little crunchy, then toss them in a bit of butter and salt. Or, you can do like I did, and just eat the chicken on its own, because you’ve had a long week and you deserve some perfectly cooked chicken without any fuss.
I do, in fact, take notes while I cook. Sometimes.
Aside from mastering these three recipes for Le Creuset, I’m busy as ever. Obviously cooking, shooting, and posting new stuff for this ol’ blog here takes a bit of time, but I’m cranking at work, too. It’s exhausting but also really fun. I’m really proud of the photos from our most recent Dirty Work series, where I got to shoot with the genius guys from Contra and Wildair. I also recently went on a shoot with Marcus Samuelsson, which was inspiring, to say the least. He made this eggplant and turnip ramen, as well as a whole fried chicken (and yeah, I got to try it all and obviously it was delicious). It’s sometimes a bit of a challenge to find time to work on everything at once, but honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way, and at least I’m never, ever bored. Right now, there aren’t enough hours in the day, and I’d kill for maybe an extra hour or two of sunlight, but hey, I can’t complain. Plus, it’s already Friday! True, I do have a lot of work to do this weekend (see: making seven pies on Saturday), but I’m lucky. I get to cook and bake all the time. Not too shabby.
Okay – let’s truss this bird.
Trussing it easy. Start with the twine under the breast, flip the bird over, and tie a knot.
Flip the bird back over and bring the twine down to the feet.
Wrap the twine around each foot securely, then tie together in the middle to make the chicken nice and compact – perfect for even cooking. Think of it as a little chicken football.
I know some people may find this gross, but hey – this is reality if you eat chicken, folks.
Now liberally salt your chicken.
Set a cooling rack over a baking sheet, then place your chicken on top, so air can get underneath the bird. Place it in your fridge and let it sit overnight, so the skin gets nice and crispy.
Welcome to your new home.
This is what it will look like the next day. That skin is nice and dry, and will result in a crazy crispy bird. Rinse the excess salt off of the skin, then pat it dry.
Place your chicken in your roasting pan, stuff it with a quartered lemon and a quartered shallot, then surround the chicken with the remaining shallot and lemon. Do not add any extra fat to the chicken – you want the skin to crisp, not steam while it roasts.
While your chicken is in the oven, prep your mustard sauce.
Once the chicken has finished cooking, set it on a cutting board and let it rest for a bit, along with the shallots and lemon, while you make your sauce. See all those browned bits? That’s where the flavor lives.
Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all that good stuff.
Serve the chicken with the sauce on the side and you’re good to go!
- 1 3-4 pound chicken, rinsed and patted dry
- ¾ cup kosher salt
- 3 shallots
- 2 lemons
- any drippings from the pan
- ¼ cup mustard
- ¼ cup creme fraiche
- ¼ cup water
- juice of ½ a lemon
- Rinse and pat your chicken very dry. Prepare a baking sheet with a cooling rack inserted into it. Truss your chicken so that it cooks evenly throughout. To do this, turn the chicken onto its back and tuck its wings in behind its back. Place a piece of twine across the bird's breast, the flip the chicken and tie the twine behind its back in a knot. Flip the chicken onto its back again, bring one piece of twine and wrap it in a loop around one leg, then do the same on the other side. Tie the two pieces of string together so that the legs are touching, snip off any extra twine and that's it!
- Now, salt the chicken well with kosher salt, then place it in the fridge to air dry overnight.
- Once the chicken has sat overnight, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Rinse the chicken again and pat it dry. Place the chicken in your oval baker and stuff its cavity with 1 quartered lemon and 1 quartered shallot. Quarter the remaining shallots and lemon and place them around the chicken. Roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until the bird is golden brown and the skin is crispy.
- Place the chicken on a cutting board, along with the shallots and lemon, and allow the bird to rest for a few minutes while you make the mustard sauce. Carve the chicken and serve the sauce on the side.
- Using the drippings still in the pan, place it on your stove top over medium heat. Add in your mustard, creme fraiche, water and lemon juice. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the pan, and cook until reduced by about a ⅓, about 5 minutes or so. Taste and add more salt or pepper, should you desire it.