Roasted Chicken, Piperade, Guanciale, Celery Leaves
This picture seemed to get a lot of you really excited in Tuesday’s Charcutepalooza post, so I figured I would give you the recipe! The inspiration for this dish was really using up a bunch of leftovers in the fridge. Besides going brine happy with last month’s challenge, we had a lot of stuff in the fridge. There was some guanciale, which is cured pig jowl – it is very similar to bacon, but comes from a different part of the pig, has less fat, and a very nice flavor. I also had some roasted bell peppers from Zarna’s birthday party, some celery leaves left over from making celery pesto, and a small chunk of broccoli. Voila! It all came together beautifully.
I roasted the chicken with the broccoli in the oven. The peppers are really good because, after I roasted them, I sauteed them with the guanciale, onions, garlic, and vinegar so they had a sweet-sour flavor that really brightened up the whole dish. The brined chicken, however, is the star of the plate. I used chicken thighs, but you could just as easily use a whole chicken. White meat (breasts) take really well to brining since it keeps a very lean cut extremely moist.
When making the brine, I would suggest going by weight, instead of volume. Depending on the salt you use, they have different weights, so they would volumetrically be different. As such, you could end up with a really salty chicken if you don’t use the right weight of salt.
Roasted Chicken, Piperade with Guanciale, Broccoli, Celery Leaves
(Recipe courtesy of Vivek Surti, brine recipe taken from Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie)
For the brine:
1 gallon water
1 cup/225 g kosher salt
1/2 cup/125 g sugar
1 bunch fresh tarragon (25 grams)
1 bunch fresh parsley (25 grams)
2 bay leaves
1 head garlic, sliced in half
1 onion, sliced
3 tablespoons/30 grams black peppercorns, lightly crushed with the bottom of a saute pan
2 lemons, halved
One 3 to 5 lb chicken, cut into 8 (2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 wings, 2 breasts)
Combine all the brine ingredients (besides chicken) in a pot large enough to hold. Give the lemon halves a good squeeze as you add them. Place over high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate the brine until it’s chilled.
Add the chicken to the brine and weigh it down with a plate so it’s completely submerged. Let brine for 8-12 hours. Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse well, and pat dry. Let rest uncovered in the fridge for 3 to 24 hours, this will ensure a really crispy skin and is a necessary step.
For the chicken and broccoli:
1/2 head of broccoli, split into florets
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a pan, put some oil on the chicken and roast it until each piece reaches 160 degrees. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before serving. In the same pan, throw in the broccoli, season with salt and pepper and toss in the chicken juices that have accumulated in the pan. Roast for about 10 minutes while the chicken is resting.
For the Piperade with Guanciale:
3 peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into strips (I used a green, red, and yellow pepper for some color contrast)
3 oz of guanciale, diced (if you don’t have any, use pancetta or bacon)
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Get a pan over medium heat and add the guanciale. Cook until the fat is rendered and the guanciale is getting crisp. Add the onion and season with salt. Cook until the onion is caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a minute until aromatic. Add the peppers and cook for about 10 minutes until all the flavors start coming together. Season the dish with vinegar, oil, and the salt/pepper. Keep warm
Plate the chicken. Put some of the piperade around the chicken, and then some on top. Put the broccoli on the sides on the plate and garnish with the celery leaves.
It’s a fun dish and another way to use brining. Enjoy!