Last night I made dinner out of Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen, which has
really cute photos of him some very interesting, appealing recipes.
Herb-and-Lemon–Roasted Chicken with Smashed Broccoli and Garlic
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon, peeled in big strips
4 garlic cloves, smashed
4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 lemon, sliced in paper-thin circles (Oy! Again with the lemons! By yesterday afternoon, I had just about had it with lemons—plus I don't love an overly lemon-flavored chicken—so I omitted this.)
2 bone-in chicken breasts, 8 ounces each, skin on (I used one bone-in breast half for me and three bone-in thighs for Andy.)
1/2 cup chicken stock
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 bunch broccoli, about 1 pound, including stems, coarsely chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup plain yogurt
First, start the chicken: Combine the olive oil with the lemon zest, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves in a small pot and place over very low heat. You don't want to fry the herbs, just steep them like you're making tea. When the oil begins to simmer, shut off the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes. Pour the fragrant oil, solid pieces and all, into a bowl and put it in the refrigerator to cool.
Combine the chopped chives, parsley, and tarragon in a small bowl. Stuff 2 lemon slices under the skin of each chicken breast, along with half of the mixed chopped herbs. Put the chicken in a resealable food storage bag and pour in the cool herb oil, turning to coat really well. Toss in the remaining half of the chopped herbs, seal the bag, and refrigerate at least 5 hours or as long as all day.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before cooking and discard the marinade. Preheat the oven to 350°. Put a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Drizzle the bottom of the pan with olive oil and heat until almost smoking. Season the chicken with a fair amount of sea salt and pepper and put it in the pan, skin side down. Cook for 5 minutes or until the skin begins to set and crisp. Flip the chicken and brown another 5 minutes. Flip it yet again, so the skin side is down, and transfer the pan to the oven. Roast the chicken for 20–25 minutes or until cooked through.
Meanwhile, make the broccoli: Heat the olive oil in a medium pot; add the red pepper flakes and garlic. Throw in the broccoli and toss to coat in the garlic and oil. Pour in the chicken stock, cover, and let the broccoli steam for 10 minutes. When it is quite soft, pulse the broccoli a few times in a food processor. The broccoli should be partly smooth and partly chunky. Stir in the yogurt to give the broccoli some body and season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the chicken to a platter and keep it warm while preparing the pan sauce. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered chicken fat and return the skillet to the stovetop. (Remember that the handle will be hot!) Add the chicken stock and lemon juice and cook over medium heat, scraping up the flavors with a wooden spoon. Cook the liquid down to a syrup, about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter to smooth out the sauce and turn off the heat.
Spoon the smashed broccoli onto two plates, lay the chicken on top, and drizzle with the pan sauce:
Looks yummy, huh? The chicken gets an amazingly brown, crisp skin on it. I'm not a big fan of tarragon, but I did use it because the recipe called for it. Turns out I still don't really like it. Next time I will leave it out, or substitute a different herb. I didn't miss the lemons at all, but those of you who like lemony chicken will surely want to use them. I loved the broccoli mash, although next time I won't bother with the yogurt. It added a slight tang to the flavor that I didn't care for, and I don't think it was necessary to give the broccoli "body." So, to sum up, I will definitely make this again, but with a few tweaks.
Meanwhile, we continue to plow through "Six Feet Under." I still enjoy it, but Andy is losing interest.