I took on a fun challenge this month of using the same blend to season every dish in a meal, while keeping the ingredient list short and sweet. Our Onion Mustard Garlic blend takes on multiple roles, seasoning chicken skin, spicing up a pine-nut vinaigrette for arugula salad, and adding just the right piquancy to a dipping sauce for crispy and creamy potatoes.
Serves 2, with some leftovers
1 small roasting chicken (as close to 3lbs as possible)
2.5 ounces (1/2 clamshell pack) baby arugula
8 small yukon gold potatoes (about 1.5lbs total)
1 Tbsp pine nuts
O.M.G. blend (about 3 Tbsp total)
Vinegar (rice wine, white wine, or apple cider all work)
Mayonnaise (Japanese or American)
• Preheat the oven to 425°F. Find an ovenproof skillet larger than your chicken. Remove the liver, neck, and giblets if included, and using paper towels dry the chicken thoroughly inside and out, then rub with about 1 Tbsp of the OMG blend, coating the skin evenly. Tuck the wings underneath, and either tie the legs together or use the chicken’s own skin to secure them. If you haven’t done this before here is an example video. Place the chicken breast side up in the pan, put it in the oven, and set a timer for 25 minutes.
• Scrub the potatoes and cut them in half lengthwise. Add to a pot large enough to fit all the potatoes in one layer, add just enough water to cover along with 2 tsp each OMG and salt (optionally, you can add the liver, giblets, etc. at this point to add flavor), bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork but still firm (generally 10-12 minutes depending on your potatoes).
• Make the dressing. In a small blender or using an immersion blender combine 4 Tbsp olive oil, 4 tsp vinegar or lemon juice (up to you), 1 tsp OMG, 1 Tbsp pine nuts, and a big pinch of salt. Blend until creamy and well mixed.
• Make a dipping sauce for the potatoes. Blend together 1/4 cup Japanese mayonnaise with 2 tsp OMG plus a bit of lemon juice. Or use American mayonnaise with a bit more lemon juice. Adjust to your tastes with salt, additional spice, and/or some olive oil.
• Drain the potatoes, reserving the water (and removing and reserving the meat if you chose to add it), and add olive oil to the pot until you have at least a 1/4 inch layer. Turn the heat on to medium and start adding the potatoes cut side down once the oil is warm. Once they begin to sizzle a bit lower the heat to medium low and cook, uncovered, until they are well browned on the bottom (approximately 30-35 minutes). When they are done remove to a wooden serving board, cooked side up so they stay crisp. Reserve the olive oil for another use, it’ll have great flavor.
• At the 25 minute mark rotate the chicken 180 degrees in the oven and set a timer for another 25 minutes.
• Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for ten minutes. Toss the arugula with the dressing. Carve the chicken and plate. Or eat pretty much everything with your hands. Serve with sauce and fresh lemon.
Mottainai tip – the potato cooking liquid and leftover bones are a great starting point for a soup. Add a bay leaf, some whole peppercorns, plus the chicken carcass, simmer for a few hours or pressure cook for 30 minutes, then strain, and you’ll have a lovely chicken stock with tons of flavor.
Fun to Try
• You’ll probably have leftover potatoes. Here’s my variation classic Leue family recipe: Dice the potatoes, chop an onion finely, and cook together with 4-5 pieces of diced bacon in olive oil (you can use the leftover oil from the recipe above) in a skillet over medium heat, until the bacon is tender-crisp. Spoon off any excess fat and reserve. Crack 4-5 eggs into the pan and cook, stirring well, removing to a bowl when they are just about cooked through. Great with a bit of Espelette pepper or Calabrian chili oil. Great as is or as a filling for flour tortillas. Try using the warm bacon fat and some lemon juice to make salad dressing.
• If you prefer things a bit more saucy try this spin on Chicken Murphy: set the oven at 350°F and start your potatoes boiling. Fry some chopped Italian sausage in olive oil, just until browned, then add to a roasting pan. Cut up the chicken and dredge in flour, then pan fry until browned and add to the roasting pan. Sauté some vegetables (a mix of peppers, onions, and mushrooms is great), and add them as well along with the potatoes, chopped roughly. Make a sauce with vinegar (or even better, cherry peppers and their brine), white wine, OMG, and a bit of cornstarch or flour to thicken, adjust flavors to taste (you want a bit of sweetness to come through). Pour the sauce into the roasting pan, stir to coat everything, and bake for 45 minutes. Serve with an arugula salad.
Past October Recipes
Food images and recipe © Christian Leue
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