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Sear-Roasted Chicken with Honey-Vinegar Sauce

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Serves two to three.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 47

The overnight refrigeration dries out the skin and helps make it crisper, but you can skip it if you want.

  • One 3-1/2 lb. chicken, rinsed inside and out and patted dry with paper towels, first two wing segments cut off
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt; more as needed
  • 1/2 Tbs. cracked black pepper, plus more freshly ground black pepper as needed
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup apple-cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. honey

Line a pan or plate with several paper towels and put the chicken in it. Refrigerate uncovered for 8 to 24 hours, changing the towels as needed so the chicken stays dry.

Position a rack in the lower part of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF. Rub the chicken cavity with the salt and cracked black pepper, and stuff it with the lemon, thyme, rosemary, and garlic.

Truss the bird by passing a 4-foot string under the drumsticks’ knobs and crossing the string over the knobs to make an X. Pull both ends of the string down toward the tail and then back along the body, pulling tightly across the joint between the drumstick and thigh and toward the back, catching the wing under the string. Pull the string securely under the backbone at the neck. Knot the ends.

Sear-Roasted Chicken with Honey-Vinegar Sauce Recipe

In a heavy, 12 inch skillet (I like cast iron or copper) or a stainless-steel roasting pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Rub the chicken all over with the room-temperature butter and season the skin generously with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, slip in the chicken, breast side up. Sear until the skin is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken onto one leg and thigh and sear until deep golden brown, about 7 minutes. (Thighs roast more slowly than breasts, so an extra minute of searing helps compensate.) Tilt the bird onto one side of its breast and sear until golden brown. Brown the other leg, thigh, and breast the same way. Set the chicken breast side up.

Sear-Roasted Chicken with Honey-Vinegar Sauce Recipe

Roast the chicken, basting every 10 minutes with the pan juices, until the thigh meat is 170ºF or the juices run clear, 45 to 50 minutes. If the chicken browns too quickly, lower the oven temperature to 400ºF. Transfer the chicken to a platter and tent with foil while you make the sauce.

Tilt the pan so the juices collect in one corner and spoon off the fat that rises to the top, leaving the juices. Heat the pan on medium high and add the vinegar, wine, and honey. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan and let the liquid reduce to about 1/3 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : Based on three servings; Calories (kcal): 820; Fat (g): fat g 51; Fat Calories (kcal): 460; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 17; Protein (g): protein g 70; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 23; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 12; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 9; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 860; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 300; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

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