What’s more comforting or satisfying than a beautifully roasted chicken with fresh root vegetables? And how wonderful does the kitchen smell while everything is cooking?
The following recipe was prepared and shared with us by our friend, the late Chef Jim Whaley. It is an adaptation of Thomas Keller’s Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables.
Recipe: CVap Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables
- One 4 to 4 ½ lb. chicken
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 6 thyme sprigs
- 2 large leeks
- 3 tennis-ball-sized rutabagas
- 3 tennis-ball-sized turnips
- 4 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and cut in half
- 1 small onion, trimmed, leaving root end intact, and cut into quarters
- 8 small (golf-ball-sized) red-skinned potatoes
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 4 tbsp. (2 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until it comes to room temperature.
- Preheat CVap® Cook & Hold Oven to 170/10.
- Remove neck and innards if they are still in the cavity of the chicken. Using a paring knife, cut out the wishbone from the chicken. Generously season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper, add 3 of the garlic cloves and 5 sprigs of thyme, and massage the inside of the bird to infuse it with the flavors. Truss the chicken.
- Cut off the dark green leaves from the top of the leeks. Trim and discard the darkened outer layers. Trim the root ends, cutting them on a 45-degree angle. Slit the leeks lengthwise almost in half, starting ½ inch above the root ends. Rinse the leeks well under warm water.
- Cut off both ends of the rutabagas. Stand the rutabagas on end and cut away the skin, working from top to bottom and removing any tough outer layers. Cut into 3/4 inch wedges. Repeat with the turnips, cutting the wedges to match the size of the rutabagas.
- Combine all the vegetables, remaining garlic cloves, and thyme sprig in a large bowl. Toss with 1/4 cup of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables in a large cast-iron skillet or roasting pan.
- Rub the remaining oil over the chicken. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Make a nest in the center of the vegetables and nestle the chicken in it.
- Cut the butter into 4 or 5 pieces and place over the chicken breast.
- Put the chicken in the CVap Cook & Hold Oven and roast for 1:15, or until the temperature registers 160° F in the meatiest portions of the bird and the juices run clear.
- Transfer the chicken to a carving board and rest. Just before serving, set the pan of vegetables over medium heat, turning and glazing them with the pan juices.
- Cut the chicken into serving pieces, arrange over the vegetables, and serve.
Struck by the mood to make something comforting yet elegant, we turned to al dente linguine tossed in a velvety blush sauce. We’ve been obsessed with lobster, so we cooked lobster tails and shrimp in a CVap® Cook & Hold Oven, and the flavor and texture of the shellfish added a level of decadence to the dish that made it truly special. Let’s deconstruct it!
First, the shellfish. The lobster tails were steamed in a CVap Cook & Hold Oven at 200°F + 0 for about seven minutes, bringing them to the perfect temperature and texture for this dish. Then we staged the shrimp at 135°F + 2 for about 10 minutes, until it was nearly – but not quite – opaque, and held it there.
While the shellfish was holding, we cooked traditional linguine to al dente, tossed it with a bit of olive oil, and held it in a CVap oven at 140°F + 0 until we were ready to plate.
On to the sauce! We started with a classic marinara, combining olive oil, garlic, onion, San Marzano tomatoes, S&P, and fresh basil.
To that we added heavy cream to create a gorgeous blush sauce.
We then removed the lobster tail meat and reserved the shells, along with the shrimp shells, to make stock later.
Some of the meat was cubed and stirred into the blush sauce, while the rest was set aside to be added whole.
We coated a portion of pasta we’d been holding with the seafood/sauce mixture.
Then plated a respectably appetizing (pile).
And gilded the lily by crowning it with the whole piece of shellfish, a bit more sauce, and a garnish of fresh basil.
The natural sweet flavor of the shellfish really came through and was complimented nicely by the simple blush sauce, while the fresh basil added just the right amount of bright yet peppery foil to the richness of the overall dish.
We are indulging a lobster fetish right now, and our timing couldn’t be better. The current market value on lobster is a bit more reasonable than it has been in a while.
It wasn’t until the mid-nineteenth century that lobster became popular in North America, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that it came to be regarded as a “fancy” food. In fact, there was a time when lobster was considered a trash food, fit only for the poor. The crustacean was considered the “cockroach of the ocean.” Read on for more about How Lobster Got Fancy.
In addition to its inherent deliciousness, another plus for lobster is that it is a heart-healthy food – lower in calories, cholesterol, and saturated fat than lean beef, white meat chicken, pork, or even shrimp. Grilled, steamed, boiled, poached… no matter how you cook and serve it, nothing can top properly prepared lobster!
For the dish featured in this post, we went with a very straightforward preparation in order to let the lobster’s sweetness really shine. We butter-poached lobster tails with thyme and lemon in a CVap® Cook & Hold Oven at 200°F + 0 for 12 minutes. The cooked tails were seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon butter, and served with a spring vegetable medley of fresh asparagus and sweet baby carrots (steamed in the CVap oven). It tasted like a plate full of seaside sunshine!
We also tested butter poached lobster at two different settings in a CVap Cook & Hold Oven – see results below:
Looking for a different way to showcase lobster? Consider some of these serving ideas:
- Spread pesto on a pizza crust and top with chunks of lobster tail meat, grilled or roasted corn and asparagus, dot with small bits of brie and bake – how decadent!
- Drizzle sesame, ginger, and lime over Vietnamese-style lobster and vegetable spring rolls in rice paper wrappers.
- Serve citrusy lobster ceviche with avocado and yucca chips.
- To heat things up, sauté lobster in a spicy tomato sauce and serve over pasta for Lobster Fra Diavolo.
- Substitute lobster for Canadian bacon for the most indulgent Lobster Eggs Benedict imaginable.
- Ditch the chicken and go all out with Lobster pot pie!
- Take your lobster bisque in an Asian direction with a hint of curry and curried croutons for topping.