Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Fall is here. Well, it's officially here, but we've had plenty of days that still feel like summer. I'm not complaining. Summer was so short this year in Chicago that I welcome the gorgeous days where I can spend my weekend basking in the sun. I know it's going to hide behind the gray clouds of winter soon enough, so I want to enjoy every last minute before that happens.
But that doesn't mean I'm not ready for fall foods. The summer produce is dwindling. Last week was the glorious bit of time where the peaches were OK enough to make peach applesauce - the Monkey Scientist's favorite - with the first of the fall apples. I think by this week that short overlap of seasons will be over. I'm just waiting on pumpkin as long as I can so I don't get sick of it too quickly. And so the season of roasting begins.
My first autumn meal was this roasted chicken. I love the sweet grapes with the savory rosemary, contrasted by the brine-y olives. I picked up the world's largest shallot at the Farmer's market (which sadly has only 3 weeks left) as well as some small pink potatoes to serve on the side. It was a perfect and hardy warm dinner that the Monkey Scientist even loved, despite his hatred of olives (he picked around them). And when Deb says your guests will slurp this up with a spoon, she's spot on. I totally found the Monkey Scientist with a spoon in the serving dish as we were cleaning up.
Harvest Roasted Chicken with Grapes, Olives, and Rosemary
from Smitten Kitchen via Serious Eats
2-3 lbchicken parts (thighs, drumsticks, and/or breasts), with skin and bones
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 c seedless grapes
1 c pitted Kalamata olives
2 small or 1 very large shallot, thinly sliced
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 c dry white wine
1/2 c chicken broth
1. Put the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450.
2. Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Pat the chicken dry then season well with salt and pepper. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken skin side down and cook until the skin is seared and golden brown (3-5 min). Then flip over and sear on the other side, 2-3 minutes.
3. Turn the heat off and add the shallots, then olives and grapes to the pan in all of the gaps around the chicken pieces. Sprinkle half of the rosemary over the chicken. Carefully move the skillet to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. (I like to poke the chicken with my finger to tell when its done using the finger test it should feel at least "medium").
4. Remove from the oven and transfer the chicken, grapes and olives to a serving platter. Return the skillet to the stove over medium to medium-high heat. Add the wine and scrape the pan as it's boiling off to get all of the remaining chicken bits. Add the chicken broth and allow to simmer until the liquid thickens and reduces by at least half.
5. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with the remaining rosemary and serve immediately.