Lately, I’ve gotten really into random dinner parties. The night that we had Slow Cooker Texas Chili, the Boyfriend and I invited four or five of our nearest and dearest (who also happened to not have dinner plans on that night) over for an impromptu Frito pie party.
And then, last weekend, the Boyfriend’s family was in town and we were dying to take them out to all our favorite places. Top of our list is Jonathan Waxman’s Barbuto in the West Village. We had a magical double date there a few months ago and have been excited to go back ever since — perfect pastas, smashingly crisp potatoes, and the chicken, omg the chicken. We couldn’t get a reservation for our whole group, but one night we decided to throw one of our new casual dinner parties for all our out-of-towers. We had a big family dinner at our apartment with a sister visiting from Providence and a cousin in town from San Francisco, and I wanted to make something that was just omg so, of course, I did my best to recreate Barbuto’s roasted chicken at home.
And it was omg. The basting keeps the meat juicy and tender, while the skin gets a lovely, crunchy texture, and the meyer lemon in the pan gives the sauce a zesty kick. And the chimichurri is phenomenal — I made a ton, and froze half, and used what was left over to spice up a bowl of chicken soup and a couple meatball subs.
And for this semi-random dinner party, roasted chicken was a perfect centerpiece. I made way more than we could ever eat, which meant I wasn’t stressed about running out, and then I used the leftover chicken for chicken noodle soup and gumbo (coming soon!), and I boiled down the carcasses to make some of that bone broth everyone’s been talking about.
PS — You might have noticed that I posted this recipe yesterday without a story. That was a mistake. Soooooorry!
- 2½ T. capers
- 2½ T. anchovy paste
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1-2 c. olive oil
- Leaves from 1 bunch parsley
- Leaves from 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 c. arugula leaves (should be about equal to the volume of parsley and cilantro)
- Leaves from 4 oz. basil
- Leaves from 2 oz. tarragon
- Leaves from 2 oz. rosemary
- Leaves from 2 oz. sage
- 2 oz. chives
- Salt and pepper
- 1 whole chicken (3.5 - 4 lbs., ish)
- 1 T. salt, plus more for seasoning
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 meyer lemon, a regular lemon would substitute just fine in a pinch
- In a food processor, blitz the capers, anchovy paste, garlic and 1 c. olive oil until the mixture is somewhat smooth.
- Add the leaves (in batches, if necessary) and puree until it reaches the texture of a pesto. Add more olive oil as necessary. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
- Spatchcock the chicken (video instructions available here.
- Rinse with hot water and pat dry with paper towels. Rub 1 tablespoon of salt all over the chicken and set it in a roasting pan in the fridge (either uncovered or with a loose piece of wax paper on top) over night. This is known as a dry brine -- it will season and tenderize the chicken meat, but also dry out the skin which will help you along considerably when it comes time for roasting and you're trying for that nice, golden brown crust.
- When you're ready to cook, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- Pat the chicken dry and drizzle 1 T. olive oil on the bottom of your roasting pan. Lay the chicken in the oil, and drizzle another 1 T. of olive oil over the chicken, and rub it all over the bird. Cut the meyer lemon (or ordinary lemon) in half, and place both halves cut-side down in the roasting pan.
- Roast in the oven for 35 minutes, basting every 5 minutes or so with the juice and oil and lemon juice collecting in the bottom of the pan. The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees and the juices run clear.
- Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes under a piece of aluminum foil. Carve and serve with big dollops of chimichurri.