Salt Baked Chickens with Spring Vegetable and Mushroom Ragout

Total Time:
1 hr 55 min
Prep:
45 min
Cook:
1 hr 10 min

Yield:
4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup fleur de sel, to coat
  • 1/4 cup coarse ground black pepper, to coat
  • 4 free range chickens (4 to 6 pounds each)
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • Spring Vegetable and Mushroom Ragout:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup sliced shiitakes
  • 2 cups quartered button or cremini mushrooms
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup shucked English peas, blanched
  • 1 cup shucked edamames, blanched
  • 1 cup shucked favas, blanched
  • 1 cup 1/4-inch diced peeled carrots, blanched
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, cut into 1/4-inch lengths, blanched
  • 1 tablespoon white truffle oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • LEFTOVERS: BASIL CHICKEN POT PIES
  • 1 chicken from above, picked off of the bone, skin and all, shredded
  • 3 cups ragout
  • 1/4 cup basil oil, recipe follows
  • 4 small crock pots
  • 4 puff pastry sheets, 3 by 3 inches, docked
  • Basil Oil:
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups Thai basil leaves
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • LEFTOVERS: CHICKEN, TOMATO AND PASTA SALAD WITH BASIL VINAIGRETTE
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Basil Oil, see recipe above
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 chicken from above, picked off of the bone, skin and all, shredded
  • 4 cups blanched fusilli pasta
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, medium dice
  • 1/2 bunch Thai basil, picked, reserve a few tops, for garnish
Directions
Spring Vegetable and Mushroom Ragout:

Preheat oven to 550 degrees. Mix together the salt and pepper. Rub chicken with oil inside and out, then liberally coat with salt mix. Place chicken, breast-side up, in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. The chicken may have to be rotated for even coloring. When chicken is fully browned turn the oven down to 300 degrees. Cover with foil to prevent burning. Chicken will take another 35 to 45 minutes. Chicken is done when one can move the wing back and forth with great ease. Another test is piercing between the thigh and breast and the juices should run clear. Allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

For the Spring Vegetable and Mushroom Ragout: In a large, hot saucepan, add 2 tablespoons butter and saute shallots and garlic until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute. Season. Deglaze with white wine and reduce by 50 percent. Add chicken stock, soy, and thyme. Bring to a simmer, add peas, edamames, favas, carrots, and snap peas. Add the truffle oil and season. Check for seasoning. Bring back to temperature. Right before serving, add the chives.

Using a large platter, serve a large mound of the ragout. Top with 2 chickens and serve family style.

Wine Suggestion: York Creek, Pinot Blanc, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, 1996 Bedford Thompson, Cabernet Franc, Santa Barbara County, 1994

Basil Oil:

In a medium bowl, mix the shredded chicken, ragout and basil oil. Check for seasoning. Fill the crock pots and place the puff pastry on top tightly. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until crust is dark brown. Serve as soon as possible.

For the Basil Oil: In a blender, puree garlic, ginger, lime juice, salt and sugar and oil until smooth. Do not overmix thereby heating the mixture. Add the basil and puree smooth. Check for seasoning.

Wine Suggestion: York Creek, Pinot Blanc, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, 1996 Bedford Thompson, Cabernet Franc, Santa Barbara County, 1994

In a blender, add the Dijon and vinegars and blend. Drizzle in the oils to emulsify. In a large salad bowl, toss the chicken, pasta, tomatoes and basil. Season with salt and black pepper. Check for flavor.

In a large pasta bowl, plate the entire salad and garnish with basil tops.

Yield: 4 servings

Wine Suggestion: York Creek, Pinot Blanc, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, 1996 Bedford Thompson, Cabernet Franc, Santa Barbara County, 1994


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