- Small Whole Chicken (2.5-3.5 pounds)
- Rosemary, Sage, Thyme
- Fingerling Potatoes
- Salad: Romaine Lettuce, Cucumber, Kalamata Olives, Dill, Apple Cider Vinegar, Olive oil, Salt, Pepper, Hemp Seeds
- Tomato Habanero Salsa
Roast chicken is inspired by our beloved restaurant Zuni Cafe in San Francisco. Juan Carlos and I had our first date there during his visit to the states, so it holds very special place in our hearts! Since we can't go there any time soon, we try to recreate it at home.
The secret to perfectly crisp skin is small bird, salt brine and high temperature. Make sure to pat dry the bird really well before brining. I use one teaspoon of salt per pound. Spread the salt evenly. With your fingers make pockets under the skin in the breast and thigh area and insert sprig of rosemary, sage and thyme. Leave the chicken lightly covered in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 475 F. Warm up the pan with metal handle over the stove before adding the chicken to make sure the bird doesn't stick. Pat dry the bird once again to make sure it is really dry. Bake for about 20 min. Turn it around and bake for another 15 min. Turn around once more. It should take around 45 min. You can add more heat or less heat depending how your oven is. The result should be really crispy skin!
For sides, I normally make romaine lettuce salad with cucumber, kalamata olives, hemp seeds, dill, and apple cider vinaigrette (apple cider and olive oil). It is crisp and refreshing. Roasted potatoes are also great addition. I pre-cook them and let cool off. In the baking dish, I add them in one layer and crush with my palm until almost flat, but not quite broken apart. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and apple cider. You can add them in the oven while your chicken is still cooking or after you take the bird out change oven to broil and cook for around 10/15 min until crisp.
Serve the dinner with Habanero Tomato salsa on the side. Acidity and spiciness are perfect balance to juice, savory chicken and crispy potatoes. Pair it with California Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, Red or White Burgundy.