Roast Chicken
Poulet aux Agrumes et Legumes Printanières

1. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter and the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the pieces of chicken and brown them on one side until they are golden. Season lightly with salt and pepper, turn, and brown them on the other side. Do this is several batches rather than crowding the pan.

2. When the pieces of chicken are browned, return all of them to the pan, and sprinkle the oregano over all. Moisten with the water, scrape up any browned juices from the bottom of the pan, then add the lemon and the half orange. Add the vegetables, and shift the pieces of chicken so that the vegetables are nestled among them. Add the bay leaves, thyme, and the peppercorns, and bring the liquid to a gentle boil. Cover and cook, checking on the chicken from time to time to be sure the water hasn’t boiled away. Turn the chicken pieces at least three times during cooking, and stir the vegetables when you turn the chicken to be sure that they cook evenly. Add additional water if necessary.

3. When the chicken is cooked through, transfer the pieces from the pan to a warmed platter and make a loose tent of aluminum foil over them to keep them warm. Leave the onions in the pan. Remove the citrus quarters from the juices. With tongs, squeeze any juice from the citrus into the cooking juices. Bring the cooking juices with the vegetables still in them to a boil and reduce until they are thickened slightly. Whisk in the remaining tablespoon of butter, adjust for seasoning, and remove from the heat.

4. To serve, place a piece of chicken on the center of a warmed dinner plate along with an equal amount of vegetables, spilling the vegetables over and around the chicken. Drizzle the chicken with an equal amount of the cooking juices. Garnish with the fresh herbs, and serve immediately.

4 to 6 servings

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