Roasted Baby Chicken with Rosemary Gnocchi
The Water Club - New York, NY
A good roasted chicken is hard to find, but Aaron Bashy of Alva seems to have discovered the secrets: searing the chicken well, deglazing the pan to make a delicious sauce, and, best of all, serving the bird with rosemary gnocchi.
- 1/2 medium Idaho potato
- 1 cup reduced rich chicken stock
- 1/2 cup polenta
- 1 tablespoon Egg Farm Dairy clabbered cream
- 2 tablespoons rosemary, finely minced
- 1/2 cup flour
- Legs and breasts of 6 baby chickens
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups white wine
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 bunch fresh lemon thyme
To begin the gnocchi, place the potato in a small, 1-quart sauce pot of cold water. Place the pot on medium-high heat and boil the potato until it is tender. Peel the potato and run it through a food mill or ricer. Reserve.
Bring the chicken stock to a roaring boil in a 1-quart sauce pot. Whisk in the polenta and cook for 15 minutes or until the polenta is smooth. Add the clabbered cream and rosemary, and remove the pot from the heat. The mixture should be thick.
Add the flour to the potato, then combine with the polenta mixture. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and work the mixture into a dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 3 hours to chill.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it into long, thin logs (1/2 inch in diameter). Cut into 1-inch-long pieces. Keep them refrigerated until the chicken is ready.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Before cooking the chicken, put 2 quarts of water on high heat for the gnocchi. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat an 8- to 10-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the oil, and when it is hot, sear the chicken until golden-brown, skin-side down. If the chicken pieces are too large for the pan, sear them in 2 batches. When the chicken is brown, turn the pieces over, and sear for 1 to 2 minutes. In a hot oven, roast the chicken for about 12 to 15 minutes, until the juices run clear when a thigh is pricked to the bone. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep it warm. Pour off the extra fat from the pan, and return the pan to medium heat. Deglaze it with the white wine to release the fond (the brown bits on the bottom), and begin the sauce. Reduce the wine by half, and add the chicken stock. Reduce the liquid by a third. Add the butter and season to taste. Add a handful of lemon thyme leaves to finish the sauce.
Boil the gnocchi in lightly salted water until they float to the surface (about 7 minutes). To serve, spoon the gnocchi onto the middle of a plate. Place 2 chicken breasts and 2 legs on top. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.