If you’ve followed my blog, you know that Roast Chicken is one of the first dishes I made back when I started this thing over a year ago. While I don’t eat meat very often, I do love the tender, juicy flavors of a slow-roasted chicken, especially so on a Sunday spent with family and friends. This time was different as it was the first time I made one a la Jacques Pepin. Jacques Pepin has a fool-proof method for roasting chicken, including a lovely sauce to glaze it with. I ended up doubling the recipe and made two chickens as the ones at the butchers were a bit too small to feed the party of eight that I cooked for.
What really makes this roast chicken so delicious is the simplicity. Salt, Freshly ground Black Pepper and live Oil. Jacque also suggests one bunch of watercress, though I wasn’t able to procure it. Even with those ingredients alone, you would end up with a pretty delicious bird, but when paired with Cognac sauce- it takes it up a notch. Bow-chicken-bow-bow, that is one sexy bird on your table!
The finished product was bursting with flavor; there wasn’t a dry piece to be found and it was as juicy as they come. Basting it twice helps retain the moisture and covering with foil after the first twenty-minutes keeps it crisp.
Accompanying the dish were roasted potatoes. Simply made with a dash of Herbs de Provance and Olive Oil, they were easy to assemble and even easier to eat. Bonus, they look real fancy. This is perhaps the perfect fall dish to make if you want a high-impact dish with low stress. Once I dressed the chicken and got in the oven, there was minimal work to be done. You could take the same recipe and use it on your Thanksgiving turkey as well. Add a garnish of rosemary sprigs to add some elegance and you will be named the best chef in your house; guaranteed.
I took some liberty after executing the recipe and added some minced garlic and herbs and a splash of lemon (because I love lemon with chicken) but the dish was sublime without it as well.
All you need is:
1 chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds) though I used two
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
2-3 tablespoons water
1 bunch of watercress
For the Cognac Sauce, you need:
2 cups chicken stock (homemade if possible)
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
2 tbsp cognac
Combine the stock, wine, onion and peppercorns and bring to a boil to reduce by half. Work the flour into the butter to make a beurre main. Add it to the sauce, mixing constantly with a whisk and simmer slowly for about three minutes. This part was fairly easy, so don’t be intimidated. Stir in the cream and reduce for another minute. The sauce should reach a nice, smooth consistency. If it coats the spoon-you’re good! Taste and add seasoning as needed. Strain the sauce and stir in the cognac and voila-a delicious dish for your family and friends.