If roast chicken seems low key for Valentine’s Day, that’s kind of the whole point. “It’s a good dish to cook for someone special, because it brings memories of comfort and home,” says Gemini chef Ernesto Ozuna. And his version will impress, thanks to some tricks: Asking your butcher to spatchcock your bird promotes quick, even roasting, while a dusting of flour leads to gloriously crisp skin. Citrus-thyme jus and smashed potatoes with bacon vinaigrette round it out with a punch of bold flavors.
Ernesto Ozuna’s Roast Chicken With Smashed Potatoes
Active time:45 minutes
Total time:1 hour 15 minutes
Special equipment:Instant-read thermometer, 12-inch cast-iron skillet
|4 cups||Chicken stock|
|3½ lb.||Chicken, spatchcocked and patted dry|
|2 Tbsp.||Instant flour (like Wondra brand)|
|6 cups plus 2 Tbsp.||Vegetable oil, divided|
|1½ cups||Baby red potatoes, scrubbed|
|1 cup||Chopped bacon|
|1||Medium carrot, diced|
|1||Small onion, diced|
|3||Cloves garlic, chopped|
|2 Tbsp.||Red wine vinegar|
|1 tsp.||Dijon mustard|
|1 tsp.||Whole-grain mustard|
|4 Tbsp.||Chopped fresh parsley, divided|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|1 tsp.||Fresh thyme leaves|
|4½ Tbsp.||Unsalted butter, at room temperature|
|1 Tbsp.||Lemon juice|
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Over medium heat, simmer until liquid has reduced to 8 ounces, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Once stock is simmering, sprinkle chicken with flour. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons oil. When oil shimmers, sear chicken, skin side down, until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Flip chicken over, then transfer skillet to oven. Roast chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest.
3. While chicken roasts, boil potatoes in generously salted water until fork tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and spread on a cutting board to dry. Meanwhile, combine bacon and ½ cup water in a small heavy-bottomed pot. Simmer over medium heat to a jammy consistency, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon and set aside.
4. Add carrots, onion, and garlic to the bacon cooking liquid. Sweat over medium heat until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in vinegar, mustard, and honey. Remove from heat; stir in 2 tablespoons parsley and reserved bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. With 5 minutes left on the chicken timer, fry potatoes: Heat remaining oil to 350 degrees in a medium heavy-bottomed pot. Smash potatoes with the bottom of a sturdy glass, then fry until golden and crispy, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a medium bowl and toss with vinaigrette.
6. To finish jus, whisk remaining parsley, thyme, butter, and lemon juice into reduced stock. Spoon jus onto two plates, then top with potatoes and chicken.