Monday, September 16, 2013

Tiny Roast Chickens Wrapped in Serrano Ham

Now that this Bake-Off Contest has me obsessively monitoring my facebook page I thought I might as well start blogging again too.

Thing is, I never stopped taking pictures- because lord knows the one thing this world needs is more pictures of food-but I quit writing about it.  But if I make it to Vegas (vote now, tell your friends!) I want to go with some momentum and good cooking mojo behind me so consider me resolutioned up and ready to go.

Roast chicken is my go to dinner. It works for all weather except those blistering hot days where cooking anything isn’t really an option. If you follow me on instagram you probably see a lot of chicken pictures, in fact, a tad too many for my vegetarian friends.

The fryer chickens at New Seasons (our local fancy food chain, though they also have things like Pop Tarts and Pillsbury Crescent Rolls) are smaller than your average “I bought it because it was on sale” chicken- which is fine by me because now that there are three of us in the house, who all like dark meat, roasting up two birds stops the squabbles over who gets the leg.

I suppose I could buy only legs but then what would I make sandwiches with later? And the stock and the sandwiches are how I justify the extra cost of buying ‘happy’ chickens, but can I really put a price on happiness?

Anyway, lest I continue to digress.
Tiny Chickens Wrapped in Serrano Ham
 Tiny Roast Chickens Wrapped in Serrano Ham

Recipe Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s “poussin wrapped with streaky bacon and stuffed with potatoes and sage”

2 small chickens (about 3 pounds each)
Enough Serrano (or bacon or proscuitto or other cured salty meat) to wrap the chickens
1 lb. Yukon gold or red potatoes
Handful fresh rosemary or handful fresh thyme
12 cloves garlic, peeled
1 1/2 cups white wine
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Remove any fat from inside the chicken cavity
Slice potatoes thickly, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, add your freshly torn herbs and enough olive oil just to coat.
Stuff chickens with the potatoes. (I can’t remember whether or not I roasted the potatoes in or out of the bird, I really should have written this down sooner… or taken more pictures, Jamie Oliver has you pre-cook the potatoes which I know I did not do but my birds were bigger and so I knew I was upping the cook time)
Place the chicken and potatoes into the tray with about 12 cloves of garlic and cook for 45 minutes, the skin should be crisp and golden.
At this point, lay your cured salty meat over the breast meat and drumsticks and add a 1/2 cup of wine to the pan. Cook for another 15 minutes (being careful not to overcook the Serrano) or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.

Remove the chickens from the oven. Take them out of the tray and allow them to rest for 5 minutes while you make the gravy.
Remove as much fat as possible from the tray before placing on gentle heat.
Add the remaining 1 cup of white wine into the tray and deglaze. Allow to boil up and scrape away all the goodness from the sides of the tray.
Simmer this for a couple of minutes.  It's really not a gravy but more of a sauce.

Serve with sautéed kale or other garden greens and the potatoes pulled out from the chickens.

Tiny Chickens Wrapped in Serrano Ham with potatoes and kale

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