I believe in using the best chicken and to make this wonderful dish, my choice is Bell & Evans grain-fed chicken, available at the Whole Foods markets. These pale creamy looking chickens have deservedly won top honors at many tastings. Here chicken halves are marinated, then roasted at high temperature for better browning and concentrated flavor along with a mixture of Fuji apples, celery root and red onions and topped with an apple cider glaze. It’s a good dish for a party, because it’s sure to please, everything can be made ahead with only unattended oven roasting while you greet your guests and it’s inexpensive to make even if you use top quality grain-fed, free-range or organic chicken.
Serving Size: 6
Apple Cider Glaze
- 1 quart apple cider
- 1 quart rich chicken stock, homemade if possible
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
- ½ peeled yellow onion
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons coriander seed
- 2 teaspoons fennel seed
Bring all to the boil and reduce till the liquid is syrupy and equals 2 to 3 cups. Strain and keep warm.
- ¼ cup finely minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 6 chicken halves
Combine marinade ingredients and rub all over chicken halves. Refrigerate overnight or up to two days.
Apples, Celery Root & Red Onion
- 1 celery root, pared and cut into wedges
- 2 large Fuji (or other firm red-skinned apples), cored and cut into thick wedges
- 2 small red onions, cut into wedges
- Squeeze of lemon juice
Blanch celery root for 1 minute in boiling salted water. Drain and reserve. Toss apple wedges with lemon juice. Combine with red onions and reserve.
- Apple Cider Glaze
- 2 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional
- Apple mixture
- Marinated chicken halves
- Polenta, rice or mashed potatoes, optional
Preheat oven to 450 Place celery root, red onion and apple wedges into the bottom of a roasting pan. Wipe excess marinated from chickens and place over the vegetables, skin side down. Roast till ¾ cooked, about 25 minutes. Turn chicken half over and roast until chicken is skin is browned, and the internal temperature has reached 165 (74 C) at its thickest point or the juices of the thigh run clear when pierced.
To serve, place polenta, rice, or mashed potatoes into the bottom of serving plates or pasta bowls, preferably heated slightly, if desired. Arrange chicken and apple mixture over top. Ladle Apple Cider Glaze over top. (Note that for a fancier dinner, heat the Apple Cider Glaze till bubbling and stir in two to four tablespoons of butter to enrich the sauce and give it that “restaurant-style” shine.)
(from Starting with Ingredients)