Roast Chicken and Potatoes with Red Pepper Rapini

The goal- a savory, moist and tender bird with really crispy skin. The key to success here is to brine the bird overnight, then dry-pack it the next morning.

For the brine, kosher salt (about 1 cup per gallon of water), herbs, peppercorns and garlic. Boil all ingredients together for 5 minutes to dissolve the salt and allow the herbs to release some oil.

Add enough ice water to cool the brine and increase the volume according to the amount of salt you used.  When cool, pour the brine over the chicken and add a little olive oil.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, discard the brine and thoroughly rinse the chicken inside and out. Pat it dry, then make a dozen or so slits into the legs, thighs, breast and back of the bird.

Combine 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon black pepper and fresh chopped herbs such as savory, sage rosemary and time.

Moisten the chicken with olive oil (a mister works great for this), then rub all of the salt mixture onto the bird, thinly covering as much surface area as you can. Refrigerate for the rest of the day.

Prepare the rapini by washing it and removing 3/4 of the stem end. Chop the rest into 2-inch pieces. Plunge into rapidly boiling water for 1 minute, drain and transfer to ice water to stop the cooking process.  Drain again and set aside.

Roast the chicken breast side down for 25 minutes in a 450 degree oven. Turn the chicken breast side up, add seasoned potato wedges and continue to roast until an instant thermometer reads 135 degrees in the deepest area of the breast, about 20 minutes.  Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees, and continue to roast until skin is crisp and internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, about 20 minutes.  Set aside to rest.

Meanwhile, make pan gravy by pouring off the grease from the roasting pan, leaving the fond behind.  Loosen the brown bits by adding a little white wine and scraping with a wooden spoon. Add this to a pot with chicken stock, and quickly reduce over high heat. Thicken with a little rice flour if necessary.

Saute scallions and garlic in olive oil.  Add the drained rapini and red pepper flakes.  Sautee all together until tender, about 5 minutes.

Carve, plate and serve.

Rating  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

3 thoughts on “Roast Chicken and Potatoes with Red Pepper Rapini

    1. No, I never cover it. Have you calibrated your oven? I found that mine was over 50 degrees off.

      If your chicken is under 3 pounds, you can roast it at 475 to 500 degrees. If its more than 3 pounds, you’ll need to reduce the heat and increase the cooking time accordingly.

  1. I haven’t calibrated the oven… It’s a brand new gas stove, I didn’t think of doing it.

    The chicken was a little over three pounds when we got it from Alexander farms. Even though it was smoky while it was cooking, it still came out SO DELICIOUS! When Erich tasted it, his first words were “This must be one of Ren’s recipes” :) (meaning it was amazingly tasty!)

    You are right, there’s got to be something off with the stove, I’ll have to figure out a way to check it.

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