I don't make roast chicken too frequently - all too often a recipe will turn out bland and uninspired. Recently however, I've made a few dishes that call for pimentón, or Spanish paprika. This spice is often used in restaurants but surprisingly difficult to find in stores. While paprika is frequently used just to add color (especially with deviled eggs), pimentón adds smokiness and heat and works great as a rub for meats.
I also appreciated this recipe's suggestion to simply place the bird directly on the oven rack, with the potatoes placed underneath to catch the drippings. Except for the difficulty of removing it from the oven (without dripping onto the heating element), this worked out perfectly.
The recipe is very straightforward - after the ingredients are prepared, they're virtually ready to be cooked. The rounds just needed to be coated with olive oil, seasoned, and mixed with the thyme before they could be spread out over the roasting pan.
The chicken (after it was cut), just needed to be seasoned before it was ready to go in the oven. I think I used a bit more spice than the recipe called for, but I wanted to make sure every bit of skin was coated.
I probably should have cut the lemon slices a little thicker as they ended up drying out too much. The pimentón was key for this recipe, since it gave the chicken some much needed extra flavor but didn't end up too overpowering. The roasting time was spot-on, as the chicken didn't dry out and the potatoes finished at the same time.
- 3-4 lb chicken
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon pimentón (preferably picante)
- Salt & pepper for seasoning
- 6 medium potatoes (preferably Yukon gold), sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
- 1 lemon, sliced into rounds Fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper
Place the two oven racks with enough separation to fit a roasting pan. Preheat the oven to 475°.
Cut out the backbone of the chicken with kitchen shears. Spread it out skin-side up and snip off the wing tips. Rub the olive oil in before seasoning it with the pimentón, salt, and pepper (being careful not to detach the skin).
Combine the potatoes, lemon, thyme and olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and pepper for seasoning and mix gently. Place the potatoes and lemon in a roasting pan (I used a baking pan, which ended up overcooking a few of the rounds). Drizzle the rest of the olive oil over the potatoes.
Place the chicken directly on the oven rack, breast-side up. Put the roasting pan directly below the bird to catch the drippings. Roast the potatoes and chicken at 475° for 30 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 400° and continue cooking for approximately 20 minutes (the skin should be golden). If the potatoes are not yet browned, let them roast for a few more minutes.
Remove the chicken from the rack and place it in the roasting pan. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. Place it on a plate with a few potato and lemon rounds.
Adapted from Canal House Cooks Every Day