If you’ve visited Gabrielles more than just a few times, I’m sure you’ve noticed one constant on the menu. The semi boneless half roasted chicken has a permanent home on this menu. This roasted chicken entree has some very dedicated followers, who I understand couldn’t bear to see it removed. I don’t often order chicken when I dine out, but I had to try this dish. First of all this entree is visually stunning in its presentation. The leg stands strong and demands your attention. The mashed potatoes cradle the chicken and the asparagus offers color and contrast and, everyone knows, a very flavorful side. The final crowning touch for this entree is the rich dark sauce made from the pan juices. The pan browning and baking are the real reasons for the juicy and tender meat, but Chef Jason creates a sauce that finishes this chicken beautifully. I think all of us love it when chicken tastes as we imagine it should, and this roasted chicken gets it right. Perhaps the reason for this dish tasting so good is the simplicity of its preparation. We can all make this one and then thank Chef Jason for making it so easy.
Roasted Half Chicken
- 3 1/2 lb. semi boneless whole chicken (french cut-2 breasts and 2 leg/thigh pieces)
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 Tbls. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large or 2 small shallots
- 1/4 cup white wine (enough to circle the pan)
- chicken bouillon (double the directions on package)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tbls. butter
- 1 Tbls. chopped chives
Asparagus and Mashed Potatoes
- 1 Bunch Asparagus
- 2 lbs. large potaotes
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
- 1 tps salt
- 1/4 tps white pepper
Preheat oven to 450˚F
In a medium sized roasting pan heat the oil over medium-high heat. After cleaning the chicken, rub with olive oil and then liberally salt and pepper the pieces. You can discard the other chicken parts or save them for stock flavoring. In the hot pan with the skin side down sear the chicken until crispy, about 3 or 4 minutes. Flip the chicken pieces over and sear the inner meat, about 3 minutes. After you’ve seared the chicken, place (skin side down) the pan in the oven at 450˚F for about 10-12 minutes. A 3.5 lb. chicken will provide two servings.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside in a warm place. Degrease the pan but don’t scrape the browned bits. Saute the shallots in the pan over a medium heat for about 2 minutes and then add the white wine and deglaze the browned bits. Reduce wine to about half. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon and water into the pan and while agitating the pan, melt in the butter and the chives and reduce until this mixture will coat a spoon.
Clean and snap the asparagus, pat dry. Coat with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place the asparagus on a cookie sheet. Set your oven to broil and insert the asparagus about 8 inches from the heat. Be careful and watch as the asparagus can burn easily. They should take about 3 minutes.
Wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil and prick each potato several times with a fork. Place in 450˚F oven for 1 hour. About ten minutes before the potatoes are finished baking, heat the milk, butter, salt and white pepper in a 3 quart heavy saucepan. As this mixture is heating up unwrap the potatoes and carefully peel off the skin (the potatoes will be hot). Cut the potatoes into quarters and transfer to a bowl. Discard the skin.
Mash the potatoes in this bowl before adding the milk mixture. Then gently stir to desired thickness. Plate as this picture suggests, beginning with the sauce, it is a strong presentation.