Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day 2011: Roast Chicken, Strawberries and Syrah

For Father's Day dinner this year, I made garlic roasted chicken with lemon and herbs, a strawberry arugula radicchio salad with toasted almonds and pomegranate balsamic vinaigrette, and roasted potatoes with rosemary and thyme. I started with Ina Garten's "Engagement Roast Chicken" recipe, but made what I thought were a couple crucial additions that really heightened the flavor and juiciness of the chicken: I brined the chicken overnight using 4 quarts of my usual brine, and I also stuffed the cavity with a sprig of rosemary and a few sprigs of thyme while roasting. I used organic young chicken from Costco and roasted it for 30 minutes, then rotated it and added a Le Creuset pot full of potatoes seasoned with fresh rosemary, thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper, to the oven, then roasted everything for another 45 minutes and it came out perfectly. Everyone loved the chicken; it had a nice crispy seasoned skin with a tender and juicy meat, even the white meat, with a savory roasted garlic flavor brightened with some lemon notes. The gravy made everything even more moist and savory. I would definitely use this recipe again. The salad was very simple; I bought some very sweet ripe strawberries from the morning's Brentwood farmer's market on my way home from free yoga at Lululemon, sliced them, dry toasted some almonds in a pan, and whipped together a quick vinaigrette with half pomegranate balsamic vinegar from Carina Cellars, half regular balsamic vinegar, a little dijon mustard, a little olive oil and salt and pepper. We paired the meal with a 2006 Carina Cellars "7 percent" Syrah which went well with both the savory roast chicken and sweet strawberry salad. It wasn't the strongest or boldest syrah; it was rather medium bodied with just enough fruit, which actually made for a better pairing with the meal. Happy Father's Day everyone!

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