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Roast Chicken with Lemon-Artichoke Pan Sauce

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Serves 4

  • To learn more, read:
    Perfecting Roast Chicken
  • by Pamela Anderson from Fine Cooking
    Issue 70

Make a simple roast chicken even better by using the pan juices to make a tangy, light sauce. The dry-brining technique helps produce juicier, more flavorful meat without the hassle of brining.

For the chicken:
  • 3-1/2 to 4-lb. whole chicken
  • 2 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
  • 1 cup homemade or low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 14- to 15-oz. can whole artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and cut into sixths
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dry-brine the chicken:

Sprinkle the chicken inside and out with the salt; set it on a wire rack and set the rack over a plate. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 2 hours (4 hours is better) or up to two days.

Roast the chicken:

Position a rack in the lower middle of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F. Cross the chicken legs and tie them together; tuck the wings under the chicken. Brush the breast side of the chicken all over with some of the olive oil; sprinkle with 1 tsp. of the sugar and a few grinds of pepper. Set the chicken, breast side down, on a V-rack set in a small metal roasting pan (about 9x13 inches; don't use ceramic or Pyrex). Brush the back side of the chicken with the remaining oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. sugar and a few more grinds of pepper. Have ready 1 cup water and turn on the exhaust fan.

Roast the chicken, breast side down, until the back is deep golden brown, about 30 minutes. Check frequently and if the chicken drippings appear to be burning, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the water to the pan.

Remove the chicken from the oven. With a wad of paper towels in each hand, turn the chicken so it's breast side up. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp. sugar and add all or what remains of the 1 cup of water to the pan. Return the chicken to the oven and roast, breast side up, until the chicken is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 175°F, another 15 to 20 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest for at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes while you make the pan sauce.

Make the sauce:

Remove the V-rack from the roasting pan and tilt the pan so the juices collect in one corner. Spoon off and discard as much of the clear fat as possible. Set the pan and its degreased juices aside.

Combine the broth, lemon juice, and vermouth; set aside. Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and oregano; sauté until fragrant and golden, less than 1 minute. Add the artichokes and sauté until any moisture has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the broth mixture and degreased pan juices; simmer until reduced to about 2 cups, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into a serving vessel and serve alongside the carved chicken.

Drink Suggestions

Pour a bone-dry, crisp Italian white without oak. Try the Stephano Massone “Massera” or the Gini Soave Classico.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per 1/4 cup sauce; Calories (kcal): 775; Fat (g): 44.5; Fat Calories (kcal): 405; Saturated Fat (g): 11; Protein (g): 79; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 20; Carbohydrates (g): 7; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 9; Sodium (mg): 2000; Cholesterol (mg): 250; Fiber (g): 0;

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