Oops… I posted the skillet dessert before the skillet dinner. Now you know that I always plan dessert first. 😉
I loved the way this dish was originally described: “The only thing better than a roast chicken and a Caesar salad is a Caesar salad served with a chicken smothered in Caesar dressing and roasted until the garlic, anchovies, and mustard become deeply caramelized and flavorful.” Wow.
This fabulous, full-flavored roast chicken is from Bon Appétit magazine’s “Healthyish” column- one of my favorites. The recipe is by Molly Baz. Plating the carved chicken in the warm skillet kept the meal at a perfect temperature for serving.
For our family, the croutons were the absolute highlight. They brought a “grilled chicken Caesar salad” to the next level. 🙂 I made them using a pain au levain boule from a local bakery. I also incorporated additional romaine in the salad and garnished it with grated Parmesan. We ate the dish with roasted potatoes on the side.
Yield: Serves 4
- 8 anchovies, mashed to a paste
- 8 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 6 T mayonnaise, divided
- 1 T Dijon mustard
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more
- 1 3 ½–4-lb. whole chicken or 4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick; about 3 lb.)
- Kosher salt
- 8 medium shallots, unpeeled, halved lengthwise
- 1 to 2 lemons, divided
- 1 oz Parmesan, finely grated, plus more for garnish
- 4 oz country-style bread, torn into 1 ½” pieces (I used 1/4-loaf Pain au Levain boule)
- 2 to 3 romaine hearts, leaves separated, torn or sliced (I used 3 Artisan hearts)
- Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450°, preferably on convection roast.
- Whisk anchovies, garlic, 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon mustard, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 ½ teaspoons pepper in a small bowl.
- Set aside 1 tablespoon of the anchovy mayo in another small bowl.
- Pat chicken dry; season outside and inside all over with salt.
- Arrange breast side up in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet and tuck wings underneath.
- Arrange shallots around (if using legs, nestle under and around); season with salt and pepper.
- Brush remaining anchovy mayo all over chicken, making sure to get it into the nooks and crannies, then brush shallots with any leftover anchovy mayo.
- Place chicken in oven so legs are facing toward the back (this is the hottest part of the oven and will help the legs cook before the breast dries out) and roast until some anchovy mayo and fat begin to drip onto shallots, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and, using tongs, turn shallots to coat in drippings. Return skillet to oven and continue to roast chicken, stirring shallots once or twice, until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast registers 155°, about 35–55 minutes. (I used an oven probe.) If skin starts to get too dark on the top before chicken is done, tent area with foil, leaving the rest of the bird exposed. If using chicken legs, start checking at 30 minutes (a thermometer inserted right at the joint should register 160°).
- Transfer chicken and shallots to a cutting board, leaving behind any juices and fat in skillet. If shallots need more time to soften and darken, roast a bit longer without chicken before proceeding. (I did not continue to cook the shallots.) Remove the shallot peels. Reserve skillet.
- Reduce oven temperature to 400°.
- Finely grate half of zest of 1 lemon into a large bowl; cut lemon in half and squeeze in juice.
- Add reserved 1 tablespoon anchovy mayo, remaining 3 tablespoons mayo, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and whisk to combine, then stir in Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Set dressing aside.
- Add bread to reserved skillet with fat and turn to coat. Return skillet to oven and toast bread, tossing halfway through, until golden brown and crisp, 12–15 minutes.
- Transfer croutons to bowl with reserved dressing. Add romaine and gently toss until lettuce is well coated. Season salad with salt and pepper.
- Slice remaining lemon into wedges.
- Carve chicken and nestle back into skillet or transfer to a platter; arrange shallots and lemon wedges around. Serve the chicken with the salad. Garnish with grated Parmesan, if desired.