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Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Cipollini Onions (plus Duck Fat-Fried Smashed Potatoes and Wilted Watercress)

I am beyond thrilled that Fall has arrived! One of my favorite things about now living in the Pacific Northwest instead of Florida is that I actually get to watch the seasons change. The leaves on the trees go from bright greens, to vibrant hues of yellow, red, and orange as they begin to fall to the ground forming piles that I long to cannonball right into. In Florida, there are pretty much two seasons: extremely hot, and cooler in the morning and then still hot later in the day. And, aside from one lone tree in the backyard of my Sarasota home (that growing up none of my teachers believed existed as I would try to explain to my classes that I really did have a tree “like the ones up north!”), the leaves either stay green, or go straight to crispy brown.

I love it when the temperatures here in Seattle begin to dip, and I can break out my scarves and cozy sweaters to bundle myself in as I head to a coffee shop to sip a latte while reading a book. (Side note: I think I must miss my English classes because I have read four fairly lengthy books in the past five days!)

The other best part of the onset of Fall? The beginning of two seasons of comfort food! For me, that means warm meals made with more than a normal (or healthy) amount of fat. This meal is a impeccable example of everything that, I feel, comfort food should be- crispy chicken skin, moist, succulent meat, dark, wilted greens, and hearty, perfectly fried potatoes.

For as flawless as the finished chicken looks, it takes surprisingly little effort to make! And while smashing the potatoes individually takes some time, the end product is unreal. Honestly, these potatoes are one the very best things I have ever put in my mouth. I totally believe it is due to the duck fat, and I highly advise against substituting any other type of fat!

Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Cipollini Onions 

recipe adapted from here

ingredients:

  • 3-4 lb whole chicken
  • 3 bulbs of garlic, cloves separated but peel intact
  • 8 ounces cipollini onions
  • 3-4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3-5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line the bottom of a roasting dish with half of the garlic cloves and onions swell as a couple of the sprigs of thyme.
  3. Rub the entire chicken, including the inside cavity, down with the butter. Pat on the salt and pepper, inside and out.
  4. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the remaining garlic, onions, and thyme.
  5. Set the chicken on top of the garlic/onions in the roasting dish. Carefully, pour the cup of wine into the bottom of the dish and place in the oven.
  6. Bake the chicken for about an hour and twenty minutes, basting the chicken with the pan juices every 10-15 minutes.
  7. When cooked through and golden brown, remove the chicken and place it on a platter along with the garlic/onions. Tent the platter with foil and allow it to rest for about 15 minutes.

Wilted Garlic Watercress 

recipe adapted from here

makes about 2 servings

ingredients:

  • 2 bunches watercress, coarse stems discarded and watercress rinsed but not spun dry
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly-cracked pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add in the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  2. Add the watercress to the pan and sauté until wilted and warm (about 2-4 minutes). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Duck Fat-Fried Smashed Potatoes

makes about 4 servings

ingredients:

  • 24 ounces baby potatoes
  • kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • duck fat
  1. Place the potatoes in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 5-10minutes, until fork tender.
  2. Smash each potato individually to about 1/4 inch thick with the bottom of a glass of the side of a large knife.
  3. Heat about 1/4 inch of duck fat in a large sauté pan over medium-high. Add in the garlic and parsley and leave n for a couple of minutes to flavor the fat. Remove when the garlic begins to brown.
  4. Fry the potatoes in the fat in a single layer, dividing into as many batches as necessary to ensure the potatoes have enough space in the pan. Fry for about 2 minutes per side before removing to a plate covered in a paper towel. Immediately season the hot potatoes with the salt.

   

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