I've been having a lot of fun flipping through The Ethnic Paris Cookbook. It's unpretentious, easy to use, and full of tasty dishes that seem to be entirely too simple, if a little hard to believe. And this one is no different. The sauce is the perfect counterpoint to the broiled chicken—it takes on an almost mustard-like tang, but has a much brighter flavor thanks to the lemon. It's so perfect, in fact, that it's easy to forget that the recipe has raw potatoes in it.
This is all new for me. But I can't think of the last time I ingested a raw potato. But there I was, tossing cubes of raw potato into a blender along with a whole heap of garlic and lots of lemon juice, hoping that this mess would transform into something edible. At the very least, I’d have liked the potato chunks to disappear. I had to shake the blender a few times, but they all did incorporate in the sauce.
As for the chicken, they recommend a grilled chicken, something I didn’t have the time to set up. But broiling is a great alternative. It won’t have the same smokey flavor, but the high heat does the job perfectly well. A roast chicken is another alternative that is easier, but not nearly as much fun.
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil
- 1 ice cubes, crushed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1/2 medium starchy potato, peeled and cubed
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 chicken
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh thyme
Preheat the broiler. Place the 1/2 chicken on a cutting board. Set a heavy pan, like an iron skillet, on top and press down firmly. You want it as flat as possible without breaking the bones of the chicken so it cooks evenly. When it’s flattened, smear the skin with olive oil, and season with salt. Place it in the broiler, breast side up. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Then flip and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until completely cooked.
Meanwhile, in a blender, toss in the cubed potato, garlic and the 1/2 tablespoon of salt. Process on medium until smooth. You might need to stop and stir the contents a few times. The potato pieces might not completely break down, but it’s okay.
Turn the speed to slow, and stream in the sunflower oil. When it’s completely incorporated, increase the speed to high and add the crushed ice and the lemon juice. Continue to blend until it’s completely smooth. There should be no pieces of potato by now.
When the chicken is done, remove it from the broiler and set it on a large piece of aluminum foil. Sprinkle the chicken with a couple sprigs of thyme and a little pepper. Wrap it up and let it sit for 7-10 minutes.
Carve up the pieces, plate, and serve with the sauce poured on top.