A trip to the farmers market easily yields the ingredients to assemble a one-dish springtime dinner. It doesn't require much: a whole chicken, a bunch of spring greens, new potatoes and green garlic. Add to it a generous glug of olive oil and the juice of a fresh lemon, and you have the fixings for a fresh and delicious family dinner.
Green garlic is the younger, milder version of garlic before its root grows into the papery head we know so well. Its season is brief and a sure sign of spring. In its young stage, green garlic resembles thick scallions, and its root and stalks (both edible) have a sharp onion flavor faintly redolent with garlic. Green garlic may be eaten raw, braised or roasted, and the cooking will mellow its flavor.
In this recipe, green garlic teams up with its older version, packing a double whammy of flavor in the chicken's pan juices while it roasts. The garlic's roots and white stalks are tucked under the chicken, which nestles in a baking dish between hunks of potatoes and the garlic head while roasting. Once roasted, the cloves from the head are whisked into the pan juices, which dress the greens and flavor the potatoes. Don't discard the green garlic tips. Chop them up and mix them with lemon and olive oil for a simple gremolata to scatter over the chicken.
Roasted Chicken With New Potatoes and Green Garlic
Note: The beauty of this recipe is its ease of preparation and one-dish method. The veggies and chicken roast together -- either on the grill or in the oven. Other vegetables such as onions and carrots may be substituted.
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to coat the chicken
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
3/4 pound green garlic, about 8 stalks
1 pound new potatoes, halved crosswise
1 large head of garlic, outer layers of skin removed, top trimmed by 1/4 inch to expose the cloves.
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 lemon, halved
6 ounces spring greens, such as lamb's lettuce, arugula or baby spinach
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
Lightly drizzle and coat the chicken with olive oil and season all over, including inside the cavity, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Snip off the green stalks of the green garlic and set aside for the gremolata. Trim the ends of the bulbs and peel away the outer skin. Place the bulbs, the potatoes and garlic head in a large bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and toss to coat. Dump the vegetables into a large cast-iron skillet or baking dish and nestle the chicken into the center of the vegetables, breast-side up.
Roast until the chicken is thoroughly cooked through, 1 to 1 1/4 hours, basting occasionally with the pan juices and rotating the pan from time to time to ensure even cooking. Remove from the heat and transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Let rest for 15 minutes. While the chicken rests, squeeze the roasted garlic into the pan and gently mix around to combine with the juices and vegetables.
Make the gremolata: Finely chop the reserved green garlic tips and place in a bowl. You will need about 1 cup. Add lemon zest, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt; stir to combine.
Make the salad: Place the greens in a large bowl. Whisk the oil, lemon juice, mustard and salt in a small bowl. Add to the greens and toss to coat.
Spread the salad around the rim of a large platter, leaving the center clear for the chicken. Carve the chicken into serving pieces and arrange in the center of the platter. Scatter the roasted potatoes and green garlic around the chicken. Spoon some of the pan juices over the chicken and vegetables and garnish with the gremolata.
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