Sometimes the humblest of foods can be the most transformative.
Take this meal that I recently served my family. Roasted chicken that required literally 60 seconds of prep, and braised endives.
In my 100% free guide to becoming a domestic goddess, I mention the impact that mastering a handful of signature dishes can have on your culinary reputation amongst friends and Instafoodies. Well, it just so happens that the two simple recipes that follow are worth mastering and will definitely elevate said status, provided that you serve them with a thoughtfully selected beverage. Sparkling water with a splash of lemon to cut through the richness of the braised endives, a glass of Pinot Grigio, or even a light to medium-bodied red would be my suggestions. Or just serve whatever you like. To be honest – and if memory serves me correctly – I may have been caught sipping a glass (or two!) of DeLoach Pinot Noir with this meal. And, it was (or would have been) fabulous!
Here’s the quickest way to roast a chicken.
I promise you that there is no need for a recipe for roasted chicken (never mind that the Yummly recipe plugin limits us bloggers to one recipe per page). Here goes.
- Situate oven racks so that you can comfortably fit in an intact chicken that’s set in a dutch oven or cast iron skillet.
- Preheat oven to 425 °F
- Pat dry the bird and save the giblets for another use (like bone broth!)
- Coat chicken with a moderate amount of sea salt. Don’t fixate on precise measurements, but know that it is probably around a tablespoon.
- Place the bird breast side up in a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven. Tuck the wings under so that they don’t burn (or cover them with foil if you want)
- Roast for 1 hr, 15 minutes (1 hour for exceptionally small birds). When deeply golden, check for doneness by temping the thigh (165 °F is perfect).
- Let rest for 15 minutes or so, and serve (in tact) on a platter for a lovely effect. Alternatively, watch this 30-second video tutorial for quartering a chicken in under 20 seconds flat
Add braised endives to your repertoire.
These endives are damned good and ridiculously easy to make. They can be garnished with grated parmesan and popped briefly under the broiler if you’d like to add interest, although I’d probably only go this route if I wasn’t using bacon because it could be a bit overwhelming. Enjoy!
Here’s the recipe.
Braised EndivesPrint Recipe
- 4-6 endives, imperfect leaves discarded, cut end trimmed, and halved lengthwise
- 3-4 slices bacon (optional)
- 2 T. butter or olive oil, if bacon is omitted
- 1/4 c. sherry
- 1/3 c. chicken broth
- 1/4 c. heavy cream
- sea salt and cracked pepper
If using, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Set aside and discard fat in excess of a couple of tablespoons. If omitting bacon, add two glugs of olive oil or 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet.
Add the endives to the pan cut side down and crank up the heat to medium-high. When the bottoms are well-seared (somewhere between five and eight minutes or so), flip them over and continue to cook until lightly browned.
Add the sherry, salt and pepper, and chicken broth. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and braise for at least 15 minutes. If the liquid evaporates, add a bit of water so that nothing burns. After 15 minutes, test for doneness by piercing an endive with a steak knife. If it meets only minimal resistance, the endives are done.
Add the cream, adjust the seasonings, crumble the bacon and toss in as a garnish (if using), and serve.
Braised endives add to the "wow!" factor due to their perceived exoticness. Use this to your advantage! Never mind the fact that they happen to be deliciously bitter, with a slightly creamy mouthfeel.
Let’s talk beverage pairings.
As mentioned, I believe I paired this meal with a DeLoach Pinot Noir that I picked up on sale for around $10. It was fabulous.
The flavor profiles in these dishes – particularly the bitterness and creaminess of the endives – are just begging for a glass of San Pellegrino with a splash of lemon. And sure, you could pair something white with chicken (how novel!), and it would be splendid. But seriously, the chicken could use a slight kick, given its understated elegance, and would do well with a medium-bodied red.
I’m not a master sommelier, nor am I an expert on cocktails, so that’s extent of what I can offer in terms of pairings. Just do yourself a favor and stay clear of Cab – as wonderful as it is, it is simply to intense for this meal.
Don’t forget dessert!
This simple supper can handle a decadent dessert such as this flourless chocolate cake with a dollop of whipped cream. A less rich but equally satisfactory alternative would be biscotti dunked in a lovely dessert wine or an espresso.
Enough already – let’s eat!