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I took on the fun challenge of using the same blend to season every dish in a meal, while keeping the ingredient list short and sweet. Our Onion Mustard Garlic blend takes on multiple roles, seasoning chicken skin, spicing up a pine-nut vinaigrette for arugula salad, and adding just the right piquancy to a dipping sauce for crispy and creamy fried potatoes.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Find an ovenproof skillet larger than your chicken. Remove the liver, neck, and giblets if included, and using paper towels dry the chicken thoroughly inside and out, then rub with about 1 tablespoon of the OMG blend and a few big pinches of salt, coating the skin evenly.‡ Tuck the wings underneath, and either tie the legs together or use the chicken’s own skin to secure them. If you haven’t done this before here is an example video. Place the chicken breast side up in the pan, put it in the oven, and set a timer for 25 minutes.
Scrub the potatoes and cut them in half lengthwise. Add them to a pot large enough to fit all the potatoes in one layer, add just enough water to cover along with 2 teaspoons each OMG and salt (optionally, you can add the liver, giblets, and neck at this point to add flavor), bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork but still firm (generally 10-12 minutes depending on your potatoes).
Make the dressing. In a small blender or using an immersion blender combine 4 tablespoons olive oil, 4 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice (up to you), 1 teaspoon OMG, 1 tablespoon pine nuts, and a big pinch of salt. Blend until creamy and well mixed.
Make a dipping sauce for the potatoes. Blend together 1/4 cup Japanese mayonnaise with 2 teaspoons OMG plus a bit of lemon juice. Or use American mayonnaise with a bit more lemon juice. Adjust to your tastes with salt, additional spice, and/or some olive oil.
Drain the potatoes, reserving the water* (and removing and reserving the giblets, neck, and liver if you chose to add them), and add about 1/2 cup of olive oil. Turn the heat to medium-low and start adding the potatoes cut side down once the oil is warm. Once they begin to sizzle a bit lower the heat to medium low and cook, uncovered, until they are well browned on the bottom (approximately 30-35 minutes). When they are done remove to a wooden serving board, cooked-side up so they stay crisp. Reserve the olive oil for another use, it’ll have great flavor.
At the 25 minute mark rotate the chicken pan 180 degrees in the oven and set a timer for another 25 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for ten minutes. Toss the arugula with the dressing. Carve the chicken and plate. Or eat pretty much everything with your hands. Serve with sauce and fresh lemon.
‡ If you have the time, seasoning that morning or the day before and allowing the chicken to dry, uncovered, on a rack in the refrigerator, will yield even deeper flavor and crispier skin.
* Mottainai tips – the potato cooking liquid and leftover bones are a great starting point for a soup. To potato water add a bay leaf, some whole peppercorns, plus the chicken carcass and giblets, etc., simmer for a few hours or pressure cook for 30 minutes, then strain, and you’ll have a lovely chicken stock with tons of flavor.
To serve 4, double everything, but instead of getting a larger chicken, just cook two small ones. They also have proportionately more skin, which is always a plus in my book.
• You may have leftover potatoes. Here’s my variation on a classic Leue family recipe: Dice the potatoes, chop a small onion finely, and fry in a medium skillet along with 4-5 pieces of diced bacon and a healthy glug of olive oil (you can use the leftover oil from the recipe above). When the bacon is tender-crisp and the potatoes and onions are browned, spoon off any excess fat and reserve. Crack a few eggs into the pan and cook, stirring well, removing everything to a bowl when they are just about cooked through. Great with a bit of Espelette pepper or Calabrian chili oil. Serve as-is, or use as a filling for flour tortillas. Try using the leftover warm bacon fat and some lemon juice to make salad dressing.
• If you prefer things a bit more saucy try this spin on Chicken Murphy: set the oven at 350°F and start your potatoes boiling. Fry some chopped Italian sausage in olive oil, just until browned, then add to a roasting pan. Cut up the chicken and dredge in flour, then pan fry until browned and add to the roasting pan. Sauté some vegetables (a mix of peppers, onions, and mushrooms is great), and add them as well along with the potatoes, chopped roughly. Make a sauce with vinegar (or even better, cherry peppers and their brine), white wine, OMG, and a bit of cornstarch or flour to thicken, adjust flavors to taste (you want a bit of sweetness to come through). Pour the sauce into the roasting pan, stir to coat everything, and bake for 45 minutes. Serve with an arugula salad.
Food images and recipe © Christian Leue
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