Tired of eating the same chicken recipe every week? Chef Mary Attea from the Musket Room in New York City offers up this roasted chicken recipe packed with flavor so bright and herbaceous, you and your family won't be able to get enough.
“Roasted chicken is one of my favorite go-to comfort meals," Attea says. "Whenever I don’t want to spend much time thinking of something to cook, I can always depend on this recipe."
Since 2013, the Musket Room's female-led and Michelin-starred kitchen has been wowing diners with its delicious Contemporary American menu, and this dish of roasted chicken with pan bread, fennel and salsa verde is a real star.
"This dish was born out of my partner and I trying to make use of old sourdough that I had been learning how to make," Attea continues. "We trimmed some herbs from the garden and lathered the chicken with garlic and rosemary. Fennel—and anything in the anise family—is a favorite flavor of mine, so I coated the chicken with fennel pollen. We had a leftover piece of fennel bulb that I roasted along with the chicken."
The recipe requires some prep a day or two in advance, and you'll be cooking the chicken in stages, the latter half on top of some day-old bread.
"Even though the chicken is the main event in this dish, I am even more partial to the bread it is cooked over," Attea says. "The bread spends its time in the oven soaking up the juices from the chicken while crisping on the bottom, so that it becomes an intensely flavored, almost custardy piece of toast. Sopping up the salsa verde with this bread is one of my favorite bites.”
This recipe off the Musket Room’s menu may take a few days to fully prepare, but it is worth it! Read below, step by step, how to prepare the perfect chicken to serve with some amazing toppings and sides!
Roasted Chicken with Pan Bread, Fennel and Salsa Verde
Yield: 1 chicken
- 1 4-pound chicken, spatchcocked (remove back bone)
- 1 fennel bulb, cut into 6 pieces, keeping root intact
- 1 to 2 thick slices of day old sourdough or country bread
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 2 tbsp chopped rosemary
- 2 tsp fennel pollen
- olive oil to cover
- 1 cup parsley
- 1 cup basil
- 2 tbsp chives
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- olive oil to cover
- salt to taste
- fennel fronds
- lemon zest
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp olive oil
- ½ grilled/charred lemon
- 1 to 2 days before serving, marinate chicken with rosemary, garlic and fennel pollen. Liberally season the skin with salt. It is best to let sit uncovered for 1 to 2 nights if possible in order to dry out the skin.
- Make salsa verde by finely chopping herbs and garlic. Mix with olive oil, Dijon mustard and salt to taste until everything is incorporated. This can be made ahead of time, up to 1 to 2 days.
- Preheat oven to 425°. Season fennel with salt and olive oil. Put on sheet tray and roast until golden brown and tender, about 8 to 12 minutes. Reserve for plating with chicken.
- Using a large cast iron, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil until almost smoking. Season the flesh side of the chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken skin side down and sear until skin starts turning golden and slightly crispy.
- Put in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes so the skin can continue to crisp up.
- Pull the pan from the oven and very carefully remove the chicken and put on a tray or rack. Place the sourdough slice(s) into the pan and now place the chicken on top of the bread with the skin side facing up. Pour the chicken stock into the pan, but be careful as it may splatter.
- Return chicken to the oven and continue to cook for about 10 to 12 minutes. The bread should start to crisp up on the bottom as well as absorb the chicken stock and juices from the chicken. Check that the chicken is cooked through, but not dried out. The juices will run clear from the leg and the internal temperature will be around 160° F.
- Let the chicken rest atop the bread for 10 minutes. Reheat the fennel in the oven. Mix the herb salad with olive oil, lemon juice and salt.
- Slice the chicken breast into 3 pieces and cut the leg from the thigh. Cut the bread into large pieces and serve the chicken on top. Drizzle the salsa verde over the top, then garnish with the herb salad and fennel. Squeeze the charred/seared lemon over it all. Enjoy!
To search the Musket Room’s menu or to make a reservation, check out the restaurant’s website.