Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Pan Sauce for Roasted Chicken

[Photograph: Donna Turner Ruhlman]

Yesterday we shared a recipe for Michael Ruhlman's dead simple and totally fantastic Perfect Roast Chicken from his latest technique-based cookbook, Ruhlman's Twenty. We alluded to a particularly wonderful Pan Sauce for Roasted Chicken and today we're sharing that recipe with you.

Ruhlman's Perfect Roast Chicken needs at least 15 minutes to rest before carving so that all of those great juices don't bleed out onto the cutting board. And it's in those 15 minutes that this pan sauce is made.

The sauce comes in two variations, rustic and refined, both of which are equally tasty. Both recipes begin with the onions and carrots that the chicken was roasted in to make sure all of that flavor isn't wasted. Once they're sautéed and softened, the pan is deglazed with white wine and the fond (the little crispity bits) is scraped up and incorporated into the sauce.

If you're going the rustic route, your sauce is done here, but if you prefer a more refined sauce, read on.

The refined version calls for the addition of butter softened shallots, a selection of herbs including parsley, tarragon, and chives, and a kick of acid from either mustard or lemon.

No matter which version of the sauce you chose, this is the ideal accompaniment for Ruhlman's chicken. It's full flavored and meaty, but delicate enough to let the pure roasty flavor of the chicken shine through. And like any great sauce, this is one that calls for plenty of crusty bread, since there will invariably be a pool of sauce left on your plate just waiting to be sopped up.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Ruhlman's Twenty to give away this week.

Adapted from Ruhlman's Twenty by Michael Ruhlman. Copyright © 2011. Published by Chronicle Books. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved

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