When talk of hurricane Irene hitting the east coast began to spiral out of control, I decided to pack up my family and head out west. Within a few hours of driving just barely out of the storm's reach, my big fat New York mishpucha was fascinated at the site of cattle and corn fields. And I suddenly became nostalgic for some good all-American comfort food. So upon arriving home to thankfully find my house in one piece, I got to cooking in an attempt at celebrating life and all the positives.
Perfect Roast Chicken with Blue Cheese Smashed Potatoes & Maple Gravy
1 whole chicken (6-8 lb)
1 large yellow onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp mayonnaise
4 tsp chipotle in adobo (just the liquid)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp chicken fat
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp salt
(yield: 6 servings)
Line a large shallow baking dish with aluminum foil. Spread half of the sliced onions along the bottom of the pan.
Butterfly the chicken: Turn the chicken breastside down on your cutting board, and using a pair of kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone to remove it. Turn the chicken over and place over onions. Flatten with the palms of your hands, pushing down on the breast. Point the wings toward the legs, tucking them under the bird. Loosen the skin with your fingertips, and try to get as much of the garlic inside, all over the chicken.
In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, 3 tsp of the chipotle in adobo, and 1 tbsp of the maple syrup. Rub the mixture all over chicken. Top with remaining sliced onions. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Make the glaze: In a small bowl, combine canola oil, 1 tbsp maple syrup, and 1 tsp chipotle in adobo. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Gently brush the onions off of the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place chicken in the oven. After 15 minutes, lower oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and brush the chicken with the glaze. Continue to roast for 45-60 minutes, brushing with glaze every 15 minutes. Remove bird from oven, and let rest at least 10 minutes before serving. *Reserve chicken fat from the bottom of the pan to make gravy.
Make the gravy: Heat the chicken fat in a sauce pan over med-high heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour. Cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes. Switch to a whisk, and pour in the chicken stock, whisking vigorously until smooth. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until thickened. Season with salt.
Serve chicken with a mountain of Blue Cheese Smashed Potatoes and a cascade of gravy. Enjoy!