Roast Chicken – Breaking the Laws

I cooked something new!  One only has so much mental energy to tackle new things.  These days I’ve been cooking a lot of can’t fail, no-brainer meals.  Still, cooking is where I can really get my creative juices flowing.  It was a treat to make time for something new.

My dad shared this gem of a book with me.  The Laws of Cooking: And How to Break Them by Justin Warner

I love food books that are more about ideas, theories,  and techniques.  This one was so much fun I actually read the forward, introduction, and the intro to each chapter.  Then I picked a recipe to play with.  I don’t think I can share the recipe with you as it’s not mine to share.   Yet I can tell you about the fun I had.

I chose his Orange Blossom Chicken.  It hails from his “Law of Lemonade” which is about sweet and sour (or sugar and acid).

The marinade was tons of orange juice and zest, plus sugar, and salt.  Also black peppercorns and two bay leaves.  Oh, and cream.  Lots of heavy cream.

It seemed more like an orange creamsicle and a little boring.  Of course I wanted to make it more complicated.  So of course I took the suggestion to “BREAK IT” by adding tarragon.

Then I went a step further.  I looked to his “Law of Gin and Tonic” which is about deeply aromatic things.  I wanted to roast the creamy orange tarragon chicken with parsnips.  Parsnips look like a white carrot.  Think of the earthiness of a potato, sweetness of a carrot, and the grassiness of celery and parsley.  That’s what a parsnip should be like.  It would be the perfect aromatic veggie to roast with the herby orange chicken.

But the co-op was out of parsnips.  Google to the rescue. Instead I got turnips, celeriac, and carrots.  Also a rutabaga because Will loves them.

Time to roast!

It was supposed to go in the oven at 500° for the first 20min and then turn it down to 450°.  Turns out my oven goes to 600° when set at 500°.  So the skin went past crispy golden.

It still turned out heavenly.  Unbelievably aromatic.  The warm slightly caramelized oranges rounds still had enough juice in them to give a fresh squeeze over everything.  The tarragon and roasted roots were the perfect paring with the chicken.  

Fresh tarragon to garnish and nibble on is a must.

While I had green beans this time, next time I’d love to have a side of orange and herb pearled barley.  Or maybe a nice bread.  There was way too much juicy roast drippings to not have something to soak it up.

I thought that would be all I had time for, but I had so much fun with the book I couldn’t stop.  Next week I’ll share my surprising success with sardines.

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