ROASTED CHICKEN WITH PARSNIP, APPLE AND APRICOT RAGOUT

Celebrate Rosh Hashanah with this not-so-basic roast chicken recipe featuring a sweet and savory parsnip, apricot, and apple ragout.

INGREDIENTS

For the Chicken

  • One 2-3 lb farm-raised chicken

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tsp thyme, minced

  • 2 tsp dijon mustard

For the Ragout

  • 1 large parsnip, peeled, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 3/4 cups)

  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme plus sprigs for garnish

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 cup apricots, dried

  • 2 cups white wine

  • Salt and pepper to taste

PROCEDURE

Prepare the Chicken

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.

    Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird. Trussing is not difficult, and if you roast chicken often, it’s a good technique to feel comfortable with. When you truss a bird, the wings and legs stay close to the body; the ends of the drumsticks cover the top of the breast and keep it from drying out. Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly, and it also makes for a more beautiful roasted bird.

  2. Now, salt the chicken so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When it’s cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Season to taste with pepper.

  3. Place the chicken in a sauté pan or roasting pan and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. Roast it until it’s done, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme, if using, to the pan. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.

  4. Remove the twine. Separate the middle wing joint and eat that immediately. Remove the legs and thighs. Cut the breast down the middle and serve it on the bone, with one wing joint still attached to each.

Prepare the Ragout

  1. While the chicken is roasting, Heat 2 cups of white wine and apricots in a small saucepan for 30 minutes or until apricots start to plump. Remove from heat, drain and coarsely chop.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat, add parsnip; sauté until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add apple, apricot, and chopped thyme; cook until parsnip and apple are tender, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer parsnip mixture to a serving platter, arrange roast chicken around, and serve with pan juices.

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