Cooking for a blog is not always like cooking in the real world. In the real world, I breeze through kitchen tasks fairly carefree. However, in the blog world, I’m often guilty of trying too hard or thinking too much. Today is no exception. But the truth is I don’t believe recipes have to be complicated to be winners. Sometimes the simplest ingredients and the most trusted techniques can be creatively paired to yield something fresh and unexpected. It’s up to the cook to make it work. Take skillet-roasted chicken. All you need is plenty of heat, a good dry bird, and sea salt. Really that’s all.
However, our needs and wants can be two entirely different things. As terrific as a simple roast chicken can be, sometimes my palate (and my blog page) want to experience something less predictable. So I’ll try something new.
The something new (for me) is the pre-seared browning method for a skillet-roasted whole chicken. I usually put the bird straight into the hot oven all by itself and leave it alone. But as I said, this blog keeps me on my culinary toes. And I appreciate that. Trying something new in the kitchen is like trying on new clothes – some things suit your style and some things suit your mood. Straight to the oven suits my style. This version suits my mood.
A roasted chicken and seasonal vegetables cooked in a single skillet make for an effortless dinner. Which is what I was after here. But the truth is when I roast a chicken with anything else in the pan the skin rarely crisps or browns in quite the satisfying way it does when the bird is roasted all by itself.
That’s why I tried something new. The method works well for chicken parts. Why not the whole chicken?
The beautifully browned skin answers the question for itself. It may not be quite as crisp as it might with a dry-roasted bird, but it’s beautifully browned and the trade-off of a one-pan dinner must be considered.
Here, I’ve used parsnips and leeks but you can swap in carrots, scallions, quartered onions, or tiny potatoes – anything goes. Start the pairing with your own preferences and experiences. Are there flavor combinations that send your taste buds over the top? I like the familiar rustic brevity of fennel and rosemary. It’s a classic when served with pork. Why not skillet-roasted chicken? Even in the most basic preparations involving chicken I often reach for the herb. And so I did here. GREG