How to Break Down and Roast a Chicken

This lesson’s dish is made up of roast chicken, broccoli rabe, and andouille smashed potatoes with pan gravy. The dish’s beauty lies in its relative simplicity.

Roasted Chicken with Smashed Potatoesand Broccoli Rabe

Ingredients
Yield: 2 portions
chicken
•chicken, whole,2.25 to 2.5 pounds
•herbs (rosemary, thyme,and sage)
•grapeseed oil
•salt and pepper, as needed
•mirepoix

potatoes
• Yukon Gold potatoes,large dice, skin on
•andouille, small dice
•sour cream
•butter
•green onion, thinly sliced
•salt and white pepper

broccoli rabe
•broccoli rabe,cleaned and trimmed
•garlic, sliced with germ removed
•shallots
•red pepper flakes
•salt and pepper
•olive oil

Cooking Method: Chicken and Smashed Potatoes
To begin, examine the chicken. There should be no odor inside of it. Keep in mind that one in three chickens in the United States has salmonella. Do not wash the chicken, as this just spreads salmonella. Instead, to kill the salmonella, the chicken needs to reach a temperature of 165 degrees. Use a boning knife to remove the wings; set them aside for gravy. Truss the chicken, keeping in mind that pulling the string tight plumps the chicken up.


Season the chicken with pepper first inside the cavity, and then add salt, rosemary, sage, and thyme. Do not use bread stuffing, as it doesn’t cook well. Coat the chicken with grapeseed oil, massaging it in. Apply pepper and then generous amounts of salt to the outside of the chicken, making sure to coat all areas of the chicken’s exterior.


Prepare a sauté pan to roast the chicken in. The goal of roasting the chicken be to produce a Maillard reaction—that is, the browning that occurs on proteins. This happens when chicken’s exterior passes 320 degrees. Start off by oven-searing the chicken at 450 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Put a probe thermometer in the thigh of the chicken, keeping in mind that the inside needs to reach 165 degrees.


While the chicken cooks, you can begin the smashed potatoes. Cut the potatoes using a large dice, meaning the potatoes will be three-quarters of an inch on each side. These cuts do not have to be perfectly precise, because the potatoes will be smashed later on. Leave the skin on. Put the potatoes in a pot with cold salted water and bring them to a boil for 25 minutes.


Next, prepare the andouille sausage. Remove the skin and cut it into small pieces. Place the diced sausage in a bowl. Also prepare diced onions, sour cream, butter, and green onion for the garnish.


Return your attention to the chicken. After 20 to 25 minutes have passed, reduce the heat from 450 to 325 degrees. Remove the chicken and add a mirepoix to the pan with chicken wings. Return to the oven until it is 165 degrees.


Cooking Method: Broccoli Rabe
At this point, it is time to par-cook the broccoli rabe. Remove most of the leaves to keep it from being too bitter. Cooking it in heavily salted water will help too. Add one ounce of salt per gallon of cooking water. Get the water to boil at a high rate, then par-cook the broccoli rabe for about five minutes.


Check on the potatoes. You can take one out and stab it with a paring knife. There should be about 10 minutes left of cooking time for the potatoes, assuming they have been cooking for 50 minutes.

At the appropriate time, remove the broccoli rabe and drain them as much as possible. Then, plunge it in ice water to stop cooking, giving it a stir to eliminate hot spots. Keep the broccoli rabe in the ice water for one minute, then remove it, holding it by the stem. Place it onto a tray and allow it to air dry.

Cooking Method: Andouille and Pan Gravy
Drain the potatoes into a colander, and then place them on a sheet tray. Place them in the oven with the chicken for five to six minutes to dry. In the same pot, start heating a small amount of oil. Begin slowly rendering the fat from the andouille in this pot.

Take the chicken out of the oven. Pick it up and tip any excess moisture onto the chicken wings and the mirepoix mixture; this will be used to make a pan gravy. Allow the chicken to rest for 15 minutes.

Add onions to the andouille and cook them until they are translucent. To the chicken drippings and mirepoix, add tomato paste. This recipe calls for two cups of gravy, which in turn means you need two ounces of roux. That is made up of one ounce of flour and one ounce of fat. The fat should already be
in the pan.

Add the flour in two steps. Stir after each step to absorb all of the fat. Add stock to the pan, and then use a whisk to mix the flour up. Bring this to a full boil to produce gelatinization. Stir the mixture once this is complete, and adjust consistency with water or flour if needed. As the mixture cools, stir it occasionally over a period of 20 minutes.

Final Steps
Take the potatoes out of the oven. Place them in a mixer. Add the sausage and onions to the potatoes. Also add butter, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Using the mixer with a paddle attachment, mix these ingredients gently. Transfer the mixture into the andouille pan to keep it warm.

Once the gravy is ready, strain it. Use the back of a ladle to press out as much as possible through the strainer.

Break down the chicken. With a boning knife, remove the string. Next, remove the legs and thighs. To do so, break the skin under the so-called oyster on the underside of the chicken, and then carve the chicken out and break the hipbone. Slide the knife down to finish removing the leg. Do the same thing on other side.

After that, cut on both sides of the sternum to let steam vent out. De-bone the thighs, twisting to remove each bone. Finish cutting the breast off. The knife will scrape along the ribs of the chicken down to a joint. Place your knife at an angle on the joint and cut toward the spine of the chicken. Do the same thing on the other side to remove the other breast. Place the chicken back in the pan, and then place the pan in the oven.

To finish the broccoli rabe, heat a pan with grapeseed oil. Wait for the oil to shimmer. Add the broccoli rabe, giving the pan some movement. Also add shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes to the pan. Add a small amount of salt. Once these are fully heated through, it is time to plate the meal.

Plating
Remove the chicken from oven. Place the smashed potatoes on the plate first. The broccoli rabe comes next. Put the roast chicken on the plate, leg first, and then plate the breast. Next, plate the pan gravy. For garnish, place the green onion on the potatoes.