Rosemary is a woody herb mostly used in Mediterranean cuisine. In Latin it means ‘dew of the sea’. Apparently Aphrodite rose from the sea with rosemary draped around her. (Ahem Ahem!). The herb is also associated with Virigin Mary. Please go figure the dichotomy yourself! There are so many other tales around rosemary – curative, memory enhancer, love charm, protection herb, etc. etc.! But today, we will limit ourselves to its use in food. Rosemary is highly aromatic, so a little should suffice. When burned, it smells similar to burning wood, so it’s great for flavoring barbeques. If you want an easy recipe with five star results, it’s the rosemary Chicken. It’s simple enough to cook and elegant enough to impress. Perfect for busy bees and gourmands! Yes, I am both and therefore this recipe is my failsafe. The technique is essentially pan frying and basting the chicken with the herb, thereby allowing the flavours of the herb to mould with the chicken, then roasting it to seal the juices in. The end product is crispy, soft, earthy awesomeness!
Twice Cooked Rosemary Chicken
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Makes: 4 portions
What you need:
4 Chicken Thighs (with skin)
4+2 Tbsp Oil
2 Tbsp Butter (unsalted)
2 sprigs Fresh Rosemary (10-12 leaves)
Salt and Pepper
What to do:
Pat the chicken dry using some tissues, making sure to keep the skin intact. Drying the chicken reduces cooking time. You can even pop it into the fridge for half hour uncovered to dry it out. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. (We are going to roast the chicken after frying). Heat the oil in a frying pan to just below smoking point. Place the chicken skin side down and wait for the skin to brown nicely. About 6-7 mins a side. Stand away from the pan, as the chicken tends to sizzle and splutter. Turn the chicken over and wait for the other side to brown as well.( It’s better to do two portions at a time to avoid overcrowding in the pan. ) Now toss in the additional oil as well as butter into the pan. Toss the rosemary in and start basting chicken with the fat and herbs. (Easy way to do this is by using a spoon with a long handle. Take some of the liquid fat from the bottom of the pan by tilting the pan and then spoon it over the chicken). Do this 2-3 times till the herb releases the aroma and the chicken skin looks wonderfully brown and crispy.
Now pop the chicken into the pre heated oven and let it cook for 12 mins. (7-8 if you are cooking without bone/ chicken breast). Remove and let the chicken rest for 3-4 mins before serving. This lets it absorb the juices. Voila! Serve with something creamy like mashed potatoes or risotto.