Serious Eats: Recipes

Ferran Adrià's Roasted Chicken

[Photograph: Francesc Guillamet]

By far the most popular recipe from last week's Cook the Book column was Michael Ruhlman's Perfect Roasted Chicken. More of a technique than a recipe, really, its popularity made it clear just how important the dish is. This week we thought we'd tackle another roast chicken recipe, this time from Ferran Adrià's The Family Meal.

Adrià's latest book is inspired by the meals he and his staff shared before the shuttering of the legendary elBulli restaurant in Spain. These family meals, eaten before the restaurant opened its doors for the evening, were meant to provide Adrià and his crew of 75 enough sustenance for the evening that was equally tasty and efficient. Happily roasted chicken satisfies both of these criteria.

Adrià's roasted chicken is a take on Catalan dish, pollo a l'ast, an herb and lemon rubbed bird, traditionally spit roasted. In this recipe he's made a poultry seasoning blend of dried thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and peppercorns, all ground together and rubbed into a chicken that's also seasoned with salt, lemon zest, and olive oil. Similar to the Ruhlman recipe, this one uses a high heat method of cooking, flipping the chicken midway through.

Once the chicken is cooked though, the skin is a crackling green-gold, full of herbs and little bits of crisp lemon zest. The juices that collected in the bottom of the pan are deglazed with white wine making a simple pan sauce to serve alongside. And like all of the recipes in The Family Meal, this one can be multiplied to easily feed a crowd with barely any more effort on the cook's part.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Family Meal to give away this week.

Adapted from The Family Meal by Ferran Adrià. Copyright © 2011. Published by Phiadon. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved

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