Monday, June 29, 2015

Apricot-Thyme-Glazed Roast Chicken

By now we have made enough roast chickens that they do not seem too difficult. We think of them as an easy dinner when we don't have a lot of time on a Sunday to cook for the week. But I do get kind of bored with roast chicken. No matter how much butter/lemon/onion/herbs we rub under the skin and stuff inside it, the leftovers are always kind of boring. That's because we don't eat the skin after the first day and the skin is where all the yummy flavor ends up. Plus, we never make any kind of gravy from the drippings.
I keep searching for a recipe that will give roast chicken leftovers more oomph. The March 2015 issue of Food & Wine had a recipe for Apricot-Thyme Glazed Chicken and that sounded good plus we have lots of fresh thyme and we have some dried apricots leftover from the Apricot-Mostarda Pork. Basically, you make an apricot-thyme-butter to season the chicken.
What I like about this recipe is that some of the apricot-thyme-butter mixture is saved and served alongside the roast chicken. This recipe also calls for chicken broth to be poured in the pan under the chicken and then turned into light gravy (pan jus). This means that on leftover chicken days, a small amount of the butter and some pan jus can be heated together in a small bowl and used as a topping. That improves the appeal of leftover roast chicken. Flavor! Also, I find the orange butter color appealing.
We used a smallish chicken, about 4 lbs. Lemon is squeezed all over the chicken then stuffed inside and chicken stock poured in the pan. After roasting for about 35 minutes, some of the flavored butter thinned with olive oil to make a glaze is brushed over the chicken every 10 minutes. The every 10 minutes glazing is done until the chicken reaches 165, about another 20-30 minutes.
At first, we thought this was too much work for so little flavor. The payoff was on leftover nights. Sunday after dinner SP took all the meat off the bones for easier leftover evenings. On those leftover evenings, with just a wee bit of heated apricot-thyme butter and pan jus spooned on top, the leftover chicken meat was very tasty and definitely much more exciting than our usual roast chicken leftovers.

So I guess the answer to boring roast chicken leftovers is that we need to always make a little gravy for our roast chicken. I suppose we don't need to make the apricot-thyme butter as well, but it sure did add to the pan jus and chicken flavor.

Recipe here.

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