This recipe really came out of necessity and what I had in my kitchen this evening. Typically, I'm a whole roaster - the chicken that is. Today, while my beautiful free range chicken from Springfield Farm, outside of Baltimore, was brining, I realized I was up against the clock of my 2-year old's bed time. So time to quarter and roast at high heat. The best part about quartering is that the dark meat gets a crisp skin as well, instead of being tucked under a whole chicken. The chicken was so moist, but still crispy, and the pan sauce was so savory (despite that it came from the randomness of my veggie bin and cabinet). I'll stick with this quicker cooking method for weeknights from here on out. While this might not be your ideal holiday meal centerpiece, it certainly will make a beautiful meal for you on all the busy nights that we all face during the holiday season. —meganvt01
whole black peppercorns
3 - 3.5 pound chicken (mine was 3.28), quartered with wing tips removed.
large onion, halved, peeled, and sliced into 1/3 inch slices
fennel bulb, trimmed, core removed, and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
In a bowl, mix hot water, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Cool to room temperature. Submerge chicken in the brine and let sit at least 4 hours but up to 24. Dry the chicken very well after you remove it from the brine.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. In a roasting pan, add the onion, fennel, garlic, white wine, and chicken broth, and spread the mixture over the bottom. Season the chicken quarters well with salt and pepper and pop them on the roasting rack. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs de provence. (its ok if some falls to the veggies below).
Roast the chicken and veggies for 25 - 30 minutes, until cooked through. Crank up your broiler and cook until the chicken skin is beautifully crisp (about 1 - 2 minutes)!
Place the chicken on a serving dish and cover with foil - resting for at least 5 minutes before you dig in. In the meantime, place the roasting dish on your stove burner over medium heat. Add the dijon and butter, swirling and scraping up any brown bits. Check for seasoning and serve in a bowl alongside the chicken.