Yup, yet another roast chicken recipe. This one turned out particularly well, thanks in part to the fresh chicken from Kaufmann Poultry at the West Side Market. Check out a more detailed step-by-step at my recipe for Perfect Roast Chicken.
The beet, giblet, barley and goat cheese salad was also delicious. The beets (also from West Side Market) were fresh and delicious and paired beautifully, as most people know, with the goat cheese. I loved the flavor with the giblets – it was decadent and rich – but served them separately since Zak wanted no part of the offal meat and he liked his version as well.
Herb Roasted Chicken with Beet, Giblet, Barley and Goat Cheese Salad
Herb Roasted Chicken¹:
1 Jonathan red apple, quartered
1 large parsnip, roughly chopped
1 small yellow onion, peeled and quartered
5 small cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
2 cups curly leaf parsley, including stems, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tbs. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
2-3 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 tbs. Brummel & Brown
1 tbs. fresh curly leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme
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 apples, parsnip, onion, garlic and parsley by shoving deep into the cavity. Allow the chicken to rest overnight, at least 18 hours, resting on a roasting rack. 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.
Combine all ingredients for herb-“butter” and stir thoroughly to combine. Rub bird all over with herb-“butter,” including under skin and inside cavity. 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.
Beet, Giblet, Barley and Goat Cheese Salad:
1 package giblets and neck, silvery skin removed from gizzard, if included
2 tbs. olive oil, divided
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 cup 1% milk
3-4 medium beets, scrubbed clean
1/2 cup pearled barley, rinsed
2 cups homemade vegetable stock, divided
2 tbs. curly leaf parsley, roughly chopped
3 tbs. goat cheese
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Oven should be preheated to 350º for chicken above.
Heat 1 tbs. olive oil in 10″ cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Season chicken giblets with kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and dried thyme. Add chicken giblets and sauté until lightly browned on all sides.
Add milk and reduce heat to low. Cover pan and maintain at barely a simmer for 1 1/2 hours until giblets are tender. Let cool and finely chop. [Note: The milk in which these are simmered makes a divine white gravy. Reserve this and thicken it with a touch of cornstarch mixed with water to make a really beautiful biscuits and gravy or sauce for pretty much any meat.]
Roll out two large sheets of tinfoil (about six inches long) and place them on top of one another. Place beets on center of sheet and drizzle with 1 tbs. of olive oil, making sure beets are evenly coated. Create a tinfoil packet for the beets by folding the top layer of tinfoil lengthwise, folding the edges over, and crimping. Repeat with the bottom layer of tinfoil. Just in case, place on a baking sheet to catch drippings. Place beet package in oven and roast roughly one hour. When cooked, a knife will be easily inserted into the largest part of the beet.
Meanwhile, bring 2 cups homemade vegetable broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Add pearled barley and reduce heat to a maintain a steady simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes until pearled barley is cooked through.
When beets are fully cooked, remove tinfoil packet from oven and carefully open (there will be steam, so watch out). Pour olive oil, which should be infused with a lovely red from the beet into a small mixing bowl and set aside. Once cool enough to handle, slip off skin of beet. Slice into 1/4″ discs. You may want to use a pair of latex gloves so as not to stain your fingers.
On a large serving platter, place pearled barley topped with beets, parsley and large pinches of goat cheese. I served the giblets separate since Zak wasn’t eating them.