Friday, March 12, 2010

Chicken - inspired by Top Chef's Fabio Viviani

I love the show Top Chef!  So when TV Guide went to Top Chef's fan favorite from season five  - Fabio Viviani's restaurant, Firenze Osteria, to film him making a Julia Child inspired dish in honor of Meryl Streep's Academy Award nomination for "Julie and Julia" I was all about it.  Fabio showed us how to make a simple whole roasted chicken.  The end result looked so delicious I decided I simply had to make this recipe as soon as possible.  Up until this point I have never worked with a whole chicken before.  So that was a little scary.  Fabio recommended getting the chicken de-boned, so I asked the Whole Food folks to do that for me.  The guy gave me a funny look when he asked what kind of chicken I would like and I responded with "the kind you can roast, I guess."  While he deboned my chicken (I couldn't watch him actually deboning it, yuck) I picked up some lemon, rosemary, and garlic.  And that was all I needed!  At least for the chicken, I also picked up some beautiful organic carrots, stuff to make garlic cheese mash potatoes, and shallots to carmelize. 

Working with the whole chicken wasn't as traumatizing as I had imagined it.  I sliced up the lemons, smashed the garlic, and pulled the leaves of rosemary from the stem and stuffed the chicken and then used toothpicks to secure the closure.

Rub olive oil on the chicken and salt and pepper both sides.  Next I heated olive oil in a pan and seared the chicken on both sides before putting it in the oven at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes.  I threw the cut up organic carrots into the pan to roast with the chicken as well.

While the chicken was roasting I got to work on the carmelized shallots from Smitten Kitchen, one of my favorite cooking blogs and the shallots being one of my favorite recipes.  They are so easy and so yummy.  Even if you don't like onions (like my roomie) you will probably love these.  Melt about 6 tablespoons butter to every pound of shallots in a pan.  Add peeled shallots and toss in about 3 tablespoons sugar (I like a little less) and saute for about 10 min until the shallots begin to brown.  Add 3 tablespoons quality red wine vinegar and some salt and pepper.  Transfer shallots (and juice!) to a glass baking dish and bake for about 15 -30 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  I put them in with the chicken at 425 and adjusted the time accordingly.

Next, the mash potatoes.  These were simple.  I mashed the cooked yukon gold potatoes with garlic (which I put in the water with the boiling potatoes), cheddar cheese, milk, sour cream, salt and pepper, garlic powder, and green onions.  The potatoes were delicious, but the stand out really was the chicken.  I was excited with how it came out!  And the carrots in the roasted chicken juice... yummmm...

Roasted chicken and carrots

carmelized shallots

dinner is served!

What a fun dinner!  Thanks Fabio!

peace, love, cooking, and happiness!
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