Roast Chicken With Caramelized Ramps, Garlic and Capers

This new recipe for Roast Chicken comes from Melissa Clark from the NY Times.  Clark explains about her recipe:  “It’s really not a whole new recipe unto itself, just a few tweaks on a classic: chicken roasted in a hot cast-iron skillet.  The premise of the original technique is that by heating a cast-iron skillet in a 500-degree oven, then placing the bird in the pan so its thighs make contact with the surface, the dark meat will finish cooking at the same time as the white. This is because the thighs, which are instantly seared by the cast iron, get a jump-start on the breast, which is not seared and cooks more slowly, staying moist.”

Read the full article about Melissa’s technique for roasting a whole chicken in a 12″ cast iron skillet here.

Watch a video of her making this recipe here.

 

Roast Chicken With Caramelized Ramps, Garlic and Capers

1 4 1/2-pound whole chicken, patted dry
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh ramps (6 ounces)
1 lemon, quartered
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 tablespoon capers.

1. Rub the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. If you’ve got time, do this 2 to 3 hours ahead and refrigerate the bird uncovered. Otherwise, let it rest uncovered at room temperature while oven heats.

2. Place a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet in the oven and heat to 500 degrees for 45 minutes. If you salted the chicken in advance, take it out of the fridge so it can warm to room temperature.

3. Meanwhile, prep the ramps: trim the hairy bottoms and remove the outer layer of skin. Separate the leaves from the bulbs, rinse both gently, and pat dry. Cut any fat bulbs (wider than a pencil) in half lengthwise. Tear the leaves into large pieces.

4. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the skin connecting the legs to the body. Splay the thighs open until you feel the joint pop on each side. Place 2 lemon wedges inside the chicken.

5. Carefully transfer chicken, breast-side up, to the hot skillet. Press down on the legs so they rest flat on the bottom of the pan. Drizzle the bird with the oil. Roast for 30 minutes. Toss ramp bulbs (not leaves), garlic and capers into the skillet. Stir to coat them with pan juices. Roast for 5 minutes more, then stir again. Continue cooking until ramps are tender and chicken is no longer pink, 5 to 15 minutes more (for a total cooking time of 40 to 50 minutes).

6. Remove chicken from oven and stir ramp leaves into the pan until just wilted. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes, then serve with the pan juices and ramps, garlic and capers, seasoning everything with juice from the remaining lemon wedges, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings.

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