Monday, January 2, 2012


Lookit: I ain't so different from you. Every new year, I -- like many others -- resolve to work out more, budget more wisely, work on world peace...and cook more at home. World peace ain't happening anytime soon (sorry!), but this year I thought there'd be an easier way to ensure that I nail at least one of those resolutions down: I'm going to cook at least one meal a week, and post some confirmatory evidence to keep myself honest. Here's the first:

Ad Hoc's Roasted Chicken on a Bed of Root Vegetables

We've been roasting a lot of chickens at home, experimenting with different recipes to find a new favourite, and have tried various iterations of Thomas Keller's in the past. It's all about high heat and a short cooking time to crisp up the skin as much as possible, and when Keller talks about raining salt down, he ain't kidding (all that salt helps to draw moisture out for a crispier skin).

This recipe from Ad Hoc seems to be a different (read: pretty much the same) take on his Bouchon chicken, which was part of a Viking promo video he shot last year:

Here's the Ad Hoc recipe:

One 4 to 4.5 lb chicken
Kosher salt and black pepper
6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
6 thyme sprigs
2 large leeks
3 tennis ball sized rutabagas
2 tennis ball sized turnips
4 medium sized carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut in half
1 small yellow onion, trimmed with root end intact, cut into quarters
8 small (golf ball sized) red-skinned potatoes
1/3 cup canola oil
4 tbsps unsalted butter at room temperature

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 1.5-2 hours, or until it comes to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 475F (nb: I couldn't get my oven to reach and maintain that high of a temperature. Any of you have the same difficulty?)

REmove the neck and innards from the chicken. Remove the wishbone, which will make it easier to carve the chicken. Generously season the cavity with salt and pepper, add 3 of the garlic cloves and 5 sprigs of thyme. Massage the inside of the bird to infuse it with the flavours. Truss the chicken.

Cut off the dark green leaves from the top of the leeks. Trim off and discard any darkened outer layers. Trim the root ends, cutting around them on a 45 degree angle. Slit the leeks lengthwise almost in half, starting 1/2 inches 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.

Combine all the vegetables with the 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 a roasting pan.

Rub the remaining oil over the chicken. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Make a nest in the centre 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 oven and roast for 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400F and roast for an additional 45 minutes, or until the chicken is done and the juices run clear (check where the thigh meets the breast).

Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let rest for 20 minutes.

Just before serving, set the pan of vegetables over medium heat and reheat the vegetables, turning them and glazing them with the pan juices.

Cut the chicken into serving pieces, arrange over the vegetables and serve.

(From the Ad Hoc cookbook, available here.)

the clutterer Web Developer


  1. The chicken looks great. Happy new year! Looking forward to seeing the other recipes you attempt.