Thursday, June 5, 2008

Pan Roasted Chicken with Bing Cherry Sauce

Pan roasting chicken results in tender meat and crispy skin, about 40 minutes of cooking time, and not diffucult to do. Start with a fresh whole chicken and debone the chicken at home, bones can be used to make stock from scratch. Stock in the house will enhance sauces and soups, store it in the freezer if using at a later time as they are perishable. To see a video on deboning a chicken check out the video tutorial.

To achieve the crispy skin, sear the seasoned chicken in a very hot heavy bottomed pan till the skin is golden brown and finish cooking in the oven. Having the right pan for this job is important, it needs to have a heavy bottom (thin bottoms will get too hot and will easily burn the meat), oven proof handle, and large enough to hold the meat without overcrowding. If the pan is not large enough to accommodate all the chicken, cook it in batches and place the seared chicken in a roasting pan, skin side up. Moniter the heat and make adjustments so the skin doesn't brown too fast, there should be a healthy sizzle sound eminating from the pan.

I added some vegetables to the roasting pan, potatoes and squash, to cook with the chicken. Since the chicken will take about 25 minutes in the oven, cut the vegetables smaller so that they will be ready at the same time as the chicken. Toss the vegetables with a light drizzle of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and herbs of your choice. Place under the chicken to ensure that the chicken skin will be crispy.

It's cherry season, so besides eating them fresh this is another way to use up the season's bounty. I don't have a cherry pitter so I pitted the cherries for this recipe by hand. My fingers got nice and wet with the cherry juices, try to split them in half with fingers and work the pit out, work over a bowl to catch all the juice. It will splatter so make sure not to wear your favorite white shirt when doing this task. About 1 1/2 cups of pitted cherries is sufficient to sauce 4 servings of chicken.

Pan Roasted Chicken with Bing Cherry Sauce Recipe:
1 Whole Chicken, cut up
Spice Rub: ½ teaspoon each of cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, chili powder, brown sugar and 1 teaspoon each of paprika and salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Sprinkle spice run evenly over chicken pieces and if time permits, let them sit for an hour in the frig

Heat a large heavy bottomed pan and brown the chicken pieces till brown and crispy, about 5 minutes on each side

Transfer chicken into the oven and cook till done, about 20-25 minutes, the breasts cook faster so pull them out about 15 minutes after it has been in the oven. The best way to check if the chicken is cooked is to cut it open slightly and take a peek. Feel the texture of the meat when poked, do that with any protein that you cook and eventually you won't need to cut it open to check for doneness.

Cherry Sauce Recipe:
1 T olive oil
2 T minced garlic

1 ½ cup pitted bing cherries

½ cup chicken stock

In a hot medium sauce pan, add oil and garlic
Stir to cook, do not brown
Add the cherries and its juices if any
Add the stock, sprinkle pinch of salt and pepper
Allow to boil lightly until liquid is reduced in half and cherries become tender

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