Baked Chicken with Herbs and Potatoes


This recipe comes from a conglomeration of a bunch of different recipes. I was looking for a simple recipe that produces moist, flavorful chicken without much work, and believe it or not, I couldn't find one complete recipe that had all the elements I was looking for.

This recipe uses a simple whisk and warm of dry herbs, grated onion, pressed garlic and olive oil. Then you toss it over the chicken and potatoes, pop it in the oven, and 45 minutes later, you have a complete dinner.

There are two things you can do in addition to the main recipe that will make it even better, but they aren't necessary. One will make the chicken skin crisper (and who wants soggy skin?); the second will add flavor to the potatoes.

To get the chicken skin to crisp without burning, take a few minutes the night before to rub the skin with a mixture baking soda and salt. According to Cooks Illustrated, this does two things. The baking powder helps the skin dry faster, which means it doesn't allow the skin to get soggy. The baking powder also reacts with the proteins in the skin causing them to break down faster, which also makes the skin crip up better.

For more flavorful potatoes, brush them with duck fat. Jars of duck fat can be bought in most fancy grocery stores, and makes the potatoes absolutely delicious. A little bit goes a long way - but always remember that flavor is fat (and alcohol) soluble. Duck fat has a lot of flavor.

Ingredients:
  • 4 bone-in chicken breast halves (8 ounces each)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil plus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat baking sheet
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion (about half of a small yellow onion)
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered

Optional Ingredients, For Crisp Skin:
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
Optional Ingredient for Potatoes:
  • 1 Tablespoon duck fat, melted


Directions:

Optional, for crisp skin:
  1. Combine optional ingredients - salt & baking powder - in small bowl.
  2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle skin with mixture.
  3. Rub in mixture with hands, coating entire surface evenly.
  4. Set chicken, skin-side up on a plate and refrigerate, uncovered, for 12 to 24 hours.

  1. In a small sauce pan, over very low heat, whisk together the oil, onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, pepper, sage, salt and pepper. You just want the herbs to begin to flavor the oil.
  2. Warm the oil mixture for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, pour the warm oil mixture over the chicken and the potatoes. Toss to coat well.
  4. Arrange chicken , skin side up, and potatoes, in one layer, on a large rimmed baking sheet coated with olive oil.
  5. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees until juices run clear. An instant read thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast should register 135 degrees. This should be about 45 minutes.
  6. Optionally, at the 30 minute mark, brush melted duck fat over potatoes.

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