ONE PAN TARRAGON ROAST CHICKEN WITH PERFECT POTATOES INSPIRED BY NADINE LEVY REDZEPI
Nadine told us that roasted chicken is Rene's favourite thing to eat, so they tend to have it once a week at least. She described how they always make a stock from the chicken bones straight after and have that as a hot broth the next day for breakfast with a little plain rice. I immediately asked if this were a traditional Danish breakfast and no sooner were the words out of my mouth I knew the answer. It was not a Danish breakfast at all, but one the Redzepi's have adopted since visiting Japan as a family and falling in love with the Japanese style of breakfast where they often have a rice dish, and some light miso soup or broth for breakfast.
Nadine is such a down to Earth person and cook. Her food is the kind of food everyone wants to eat at home. It is uncomplicated, but that isn't to say it's unsophisticated. But it's comforting, homely and you just know it's the kind of food her daughters are going to tell their granddaughters about. Of course Rene is a super chef, one of the best in the world, but you can also completely see how much he must love coming home to the food that Nadine puts on the table.
When Nadine described how, for a dinner party, she would most likely roast some meat, she talked of how not only was this simple and fuss free cooking, but also that everyone enjoys meat cooked this way. Which is so true. People adore roasts and although we don't have to let the cat out of the bag to them, they really are incredibly simple to do once you've practiced a few times. Just don't go on about this when people are exclaiming with delight. It is far better to theatrically mop your brow and soak up the applause then tell them what little effort it really extolled.
But she also talked of the simple pleasure of the way the smell of the roasting food fills the house and that shouldn't be underestimated. Walking into someone's house and being welcomed with the gently wafting aroma of a happily roasting chicken is a very comforting smell and an excellent way to kick off a dinner party.
Most people do have roast chicken in their repertoire of dishes they like to cook. But not all. And if you fall into the latter camp, I would definitely recommend having a go at roasting a chicken. It's so simple, and so versatile. Roast a chicken and tear it into pasta as I did here. Or serve with salad, pile into sandwiches, shred into soup or serve with golden roasted potatoes. The simple roasted chicken can be dressed up in so many delicious ways. It's the cooks best friend and most useful dish to have in your armoury.
I first had these potatoes at my friend Joey's house. Her mum had slow roasted a shoulder of lamb and these lucky potatoes had been sitting underneath collecting all the delicious cooking juices. They melted in my mouth and I must have eaten a sack of potatoes that day with no regrets.
In our house we are big fans of roasted potatoes. My mama makes the most delicious Sunday lunch and we don't feel they are ever really complete without golden and gorgeous roasted crispy potatoes. I would however, and should, volunteer these potatoes as a delicious alternative. They are crispy, but tender and packed full of flavour from the chicken. And (as if we need another and..but just you wait), and, they go into the same tray so the washing up is really minimal. Hurrah. I love serving this with a simple tomato salad and a yoghurt and lemon sauce with lots of fresh tarragon in it. Delicious.
1 x 1.6kg free range high welfare chicken
6 large potatoes
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
small knob of butter
lots of salt and pepper
1 tbsp dried tarragon
For the yogurt:
120ml greek yoghurt
squeeze of lemon juice (1tbsp approx.)
salt and pepper
1 tsp fresh chopped tarragon
8 salad tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
Whack the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5.
Wash and slice the potatoes - not too thin but not too chunky, and bung them in a roasting tray
Add a drizzle of olive oil and be generous with the salt and pepper. Throw in the garlic - I tend to add this where I know the chicken will be sitting on top
Place the chicken on the top and drizzle with the remaining olive oil, and the knob of butter. Add plenty of salt for a good crunchy skin and add the dried tarragon.
Place in the oven for 1 hour. Every recipe I've ever read says 1 hour 20 mins, but if I do this the chicken would be dry and miserable. I do an hour, and then remove the chicken and leave on a board to rest whilst I put the potatoes back in to keep getting more delicious.
Definitely check the chicken before you remove it from the oven. The juices should be clear not pink, and if in doubt you should stick a knife in the thickest part of the leg and see if the meat looks cooked.
For the tomatoes, the key is to peel them. It requires such minimal effort but the results are extraordinary and everyone will ask what you have done to make the tomatoes so delicious. Simply pop them in a bowl, make a shallow cross on the top of each one with a knife and then cover with boiling water. Drain them after only about 30 seconds - you don't want to cook the tomatoes, you just need them hot enough to be able to peel easily. Peel them from the scored cross and the skin should come off easily - if it doesn't, simply keep in the water a bit longer. Dress the chopped tomatoes in plenty of olive oil and lots of salt and pepper. I like to do this as I put the chicken in so that the tomatoes have lots of time to soak up all that seasoning.
For the yoghurt dressing, simply loosen the yoghurt with the lemon juice and a splash of water if you like. Season well, and add the chopped tarragon.
Serve family sale so everyone can help themselves. Delicious enough for a dinner party, but simple enough you aren't going to be trapped in the kitchen all night.