28 December 2015

A little more enterprising

I take comfort in the fact that enough can manifest itself when you have building blocks. In a perfect holiday time-off lunch world when you are not dashing off to some afternoon boozy pizza friends gathering, there happens to be just enough cooked protein left over from last night's dinner, or even enough to divvy and supplement with a couple of eggs on the side, a sharp wedge of cheese and a pile of greens, resulting in my favorite type of midday smorgasbords. But sometimes, you are cooking from zero, and you have to be a little more enterprising. I came across a technique for roasting split skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts over on Serious Eats a year ago or so and forgot about it until the summer when it was so hot I wanted to throw a bunch of things in the oven in the hour I could deal with it being on, and eat them cold, later. But in the winter, some slightly warm roast chicken at lunch is just the ticket. And, you'll have leftovers...for tomorrow's dinner.

Skin-on, bone-in breast, is an entirely different animal from the endless, high-priced packages of boneless skinless breasts. I've already told you how we've embraced and completely fallen for thighs both on and off the bone. In fact I reach for them more than I ever have, lately, as the temperature has dropped (occasionally, at least). But, there's a time for white meat too. My advice? If you can handle a little manicuring, buy as much poultry you can air-chilled with skin and bones. And then figure out what you're doing with it. I don't aim for crispy skin here. I discard the skin and keep the juicy meat and throw the rib bones in a freezer bag. Building blocks. And by the way, this is not a manifesto to become an only bone-in poultry buyer or self-butcher...I highly recommend this boneless recipe. But one time doing it this way, I promise you'll be a convert, at least some of the time ; )

Roast Bone-In, Skin-On Breasts
Adapted from Serious Eats

2 split breasts--I love B&E
A knob of butter
Herbs, like thyme, dried oregano, powdered garlic, spices like paprika
Salt and pepper
A little oil

Oven to 425. Set a wire rack on a sheet pan. Pat chicken dry and discard any excess skin/fat. Let it sit to take the chill off until the oven is ready. 

Mix the butter some of the spices and a small pinch salt. Generously season both sides of each breast with salt and pepper and rub half the butter mix under each skin. Stick a sprig of thyme in there too. 

Roast in the oven about 30-35 minutes or a few minutes longer, depending on size. Remove when temperature is 155, keeping in mind it will carry over. Remove to a plate and, important, let rest, tented with foil, at least 15 minutes. I often let it cool until just more than cool enough to handle, before removing from the bone/skin. Juices in the pan can be poured over and leftovers stored covered. 

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