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Roast Chicken with Bay Leaf and Barley

By on January 5, 2018
Screen Shot 2018 01 20 at 12.59.14 PM 300x336 - Roast Chicken with Bay Leaf and Barley

This best-loved chicken dinner never fails to make the house smell intoxicating. During the roasting time, the barley becomes soft and risotto-like while the chicken skin crisps up nicely. It’s the best of both worlds: a braise and a roast. Don’t skip the resting time; the drippings from the chicken are the finishing touch to the dish.

Spatchcocked simply means a split and flattened whole chicken. Ask your butcher to do this for you, or do it yourself. Use a sharp, sturdy knife or kitchen shears, and cut down the backbone on both sides to remove it entirely. Open the chicken, lay it on a cutting board skin side up and press gently between the breasts to flatten the bird.

1 teaspoon (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup (250 mL) pearl barley
1 small leek, white and pale green part only, washed and chopped
½ teaspoon (2 mL) sea salt, divided
1⁄₃ cup (75 mL) dry white wine
2 2∕3 cups (650 mL) water
1 small organic chicken (about 4 pounds/1.8 kg), spatchcocked
¼ teaspoon (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
5 dried bay leaves
Optional: Cranberry Compote with Port and Pepper for serving

1) Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Brush a 13- × 9-inch (3.5 L) roasting pan with the olive oil.

2) Sprinkle the barley evenly in the pan. Top with chopped leeks and a sprinkling of salt. Pour the white wine and water over the barley.

3) Trim excess fat from the chicken. Place the chicken skin side up on the barley. Season the chicken with the remaining salt and the pepper. Tuck a bay leaf under the skin of each thigh and each breast. Nestle the remaining bay leaf in the barley.

4) Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for an additional 45 minutes, until the liquid is reduced and the chicken is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cover loosely with foil again. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes. Serve with Cranberry Compote with Port and Pepper.

Excerpted from “The Simple Bites Kitchen: Nourishing Whole Food Recipes for Every Day.” Copyright © 2017 by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque. Photos copyright © Tim and Angela Chin. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher.

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