Roast Chicken with Savory Sweet Potato Souffles

15 Nov

I’ve never made a soufflé before.  I’m really not a huge fan of measuring ingredients and it just always seemed like they were scary and intimidating and something not really in the realm of possibility for me.  However, I’ve gotten better at measuring things since I started this blog (so, you know, I could actually write a real recipe and replicate it later), and when I came across a recipe for a savory sweet potato soufflé I figured I had to give it a shot.  Doubly so because we got several really lovely sweet potatoes in our CSA basket and Zak isn’t the hugest fan.  I thought I might have to get creative, so the soufflé seemed like the perfect option.  I’m pleased to announce that these turned out light, airy, fluffy and absolutely yummy.  I will no longer be afraid of the soufflé.

Paired with a simple roast chicken (please read this post for full how-to on how to roast the perfect chicken), this was a really light and flavorful dinner.  I’m so happy I added the soufflé to my repertoire, because I can sense a lot of really great variations coming on (in the mean time, I need to get the proper attachment for my food processor to whisk eggs, because my wrist was hurting a little bit after beating the eggs to death by hand).  See the picture of the really beautiful and yummy roast chicken after the jump.

[Note: While soufflés will not stay puffed up for long and will not re-puff upon reheating, they are still perfectly good as leftovers.  Sure, they lose a little in elegance, but they still taste great and have a nice texture.]

Roast Chicken with Savory Sweet Potato Souffles

Roast Chicken:

1 whole young chicken, rinsed in cold water with any remaining pinfeathers, neck and giblets removed (save these for homemade chicken stock!) (5.5 lbs.)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning

Brine:

2-3 cups water per pound of chicken (25 cups water)

1/2 cup kosher salt per pound of chicken (less if you will be brining for longer than one hour per pound) (2 1/2 cups kosher salt)

1/2 cup white, granulated sugar per pound of chicken (2 1/2 cups white, granulated sugar)

1 tbs. whole black peppercorns (about a dozen)

4 cloves garlic, crushed with flat of knife

1 lemons, quartered

1/2 small white onion

1 radish, quartered

3 stalks celery, cut into 2-3″ pieces

1 medium carrot, cut into 2-3″ pieces

1 tbs. crushed red pepper flakes

Handful of fresh chives

To begin, in a medium or large saucepan heat roughly half of the water necessary for the final brining solution over medium-high heat until it reaches a simmer.  A little at a time, add kosher salt and sugar while whisking until dissolved.  It may be necessary to add more water to the saucepan in order to dissolve all of the salt and sugar.  Once the salt and sugar are dissolved, transfer the water, plus any additional water according the measurements above, to a container large enough to hold the brining solution and chicken.  This can be done in a large ziplock bag, though I prefer to use a large stock pot

Add all other brine ingredients and allow brining solution to cool to room temperature, placing solution in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes if necessary.  Once the solution is room temperature or cool to the touch, add the chicken to the solution.  Place the chicken in the refrigerator and let soak in brining solution about one hour per pound (round up to the nearest hour).

Remove chicken from brining solution by straining through a colander.  Make sure you save all brining ingredients.  Dress the chicken with lemon, onions, garlic, radishes, celery, carrots, fresh chives, and peppercorns by shoving deep into the cavity.  Season liberally with crushed red pepper flakes pepper and poultry seasonings.  Allow the chicken to rest overnight, at least 18 hours.  This allows most of the moisture to evaporate from the skin of the chicken, which will result in a crispier skin (my favorite part!).

Preheat oven to 475°.

Remove chicken from refrigerator and place on a baking dish on top of a roasting rack.  Juice 1/2 lemon over the chicken, using a pastry brush to cover most of the exposed skin if necessary.  Place chicken in preheated oven on center rack.  Roast at 475° for 15 minutes or until skin is light golden brown.  After 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350°.  Roast chicken roughly 20 minutes per pound (rounding up to nearest pound), or until meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken’s thigh reads 185º.  If chicken becomes overly brown, tent with a piece of tinfoil.

When fully cooked, remove chicken from oven and cover with tinfoil.  Rest 15-20 minutes, which will allow juices to redistribute and result in a tender, juicy bird.

Savory Sweet Potato Soufflés:

Adapted from Martha Stewart.com

2 medium sweet potatoes, cleaned and poked with a fork

Freshly cracked black pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tbs. butter, plus more to grease baking dishes

1/2 cup onion, finely chopped

1 small garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, minced finely

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 tbs. all natural, whole wheat flour

1/2 cup 1% milk

3/4 cup coarsely grated Gruyère cheese

3 large eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 400º.  Place sweet potatoes on a tinfoil lined baking sheet.  Bake sweet potatoes 30-60 minutes.  When done, potatoes will be easily pierced with a fork.  Let cool and remove skins.

Reduce oven heat to 375º.

Transfer insides of sweet potatoes to a food processor.  Season with kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and 1 tsp. garlic powder.  Butter three 1 1/4 cup cups/ramekins and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over  medium-low heat.  Add onion, garlic, and thyme.  Check seasonings and season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring often, until onion is softened and translucent, about 8 minutes.  Stir in flour and cook, while stirring, about 3 minutes.

Slowly whisk in milk.  Simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Whisk in sweet-potato puree, then egg yolks, one at a time.

In a clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form.  Whisk 1/4 of whites into cheese mixture.  Gently fold in the rest with a rubber spatula.

Place ramekins/cups on a rimmed baking sheet.  Pour mixture into ramekins/cups and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden brown.  Top with a small sprig of fresh thyme.

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One Response to “Roast Chicken with Savory Sweet Potato Souffles”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Citrus and Herb Roast Chicken « Kelseyincleveland's Blog - June 25, 2011

    […] ten different variations of a roasted chicken, including a roasted chicken with fall flavors, a roast chicken with savory sweet potato soufflés, a dry rubbed roast chicken with Old Bay seasoning, an herb roasted chicken with accompanying herb […]

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