Roast Chicken with a Mediterranean Twist
Once again, I am playing with a recipe from The NY Times. They had a roast chicken recipe that I liked… well, sort of. Honestly, it sounded like a mess on a plate, and I really like to present things with great eye appeal and great flavour. Well, that and I wanted to twist it and turn this roast chicken into something Mediterranean, rather than their Asian-esque version, to pair with a 2020 Provence rosé (Fleur de l’Amaurigue) from Domaine de l’Amaurigue. Head to the Provence WineZine to see how the wine and food pairing turned out.
The anchovy sauce used in my recipe for Roasted Chicken with Colatura di Alici is Italian; it is a descendant of the ancient Roman garum. Coincidentally, garum was produced by the Gauls and exported from the southernmost tip of France, an area we know as Provence. The recipe sounds odd, but it’s exquisite. Just take a look at the photos here.
Roasted Chicken with Colatura di Alici
- 4 Chicken Thighs bone-in, skin-on
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 slices Brioche Bread thick slices, crusts removed
- 2 tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
- 2 tbsp Colatura di Alici Italian Fish Sauce
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- 6 tbsp Cold Unsalted Butter in two pieces
- 1/2 cup Basil Leaves, silvered
- Whole Basil Leaves for garnish
- An hour before cooking, pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken skin-side up on a lightly greased sheet pan — place in the refrigerator, uncovered, to dry. Heat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Remove chicken from the fridge and drizzle with oil. Roast until the chicken is golden and has rendered its fat, about 30 minutes.
- Take the sheet pan out of the oven. Dip the slices of bread in the rendered fat, turning to coat both sides. Leave the slices of bread in the pan and return to the oven. Then roast for an additional 10 minutes. The bread will be perfectly toasted.
- While the chicken roasts, combine the brown sugar, colatura di alici, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a brisk simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until the mixture has reduced by about half, 3-4 minutes; the bubbles will increase in size — this is how you can tell it’s ready. Add both pieces of butter and stir them into the sauce until fully melted. Set aside.
- To serve, place the pieces of toast on four (4) warmed serving plates. Divide slivered basil between the toasts, and top each one with a piece of chicken. Spoon the sauce over the chicken. The bread will absorb some of the liquid. Top each chicken thigh with fresh basil leaves and serve.
- Don’t skimp on the basil — it’s key to the flavour profile — and don’t use boneless-skinless thighs.
- If you do, the recipe will fail and you will blame me (you need the fat in the pan!).
- We served it with chard from the garden sautéed with shallots and discovered that the sauce that oozed into the chard was delicious, too.