Hot Tub Chicken

February  5, 2011
Author Notes

My first bottle of Meyer Lemon Olive Oil inspired me to create this dish. I made a wet rub with garlic cloves, salt, peppercorns, a seranno chili, lemon zest and that wonderful olive oil. Rubbed under the skin and all over the top, I placed that bird in the fridge to do it's thing while I prepared the sauce for the hot tub that perfectly grilled chicken would sit in for it's final, but tasty, braise before being carved into juicy slices and slathered with the sauce which now has reduced into a ooey gooey lemony mustard and wine soaked olivy (is that even a word?) garlic blanket. Try reading THAT 3x fast. It was that good. In the middle of one of the worst weather months on record, I still crave that dish so instead of a grill I roasted the chicken in the oven and placed it into a hot tub inside instead of outside. Doesn't really matter where you make it, it tasted just as good as the first time. - Stockout —Stockout

Test Kitchen Notes

The layers of flavor in Stockout's creatively titled Hot Tub Chicken start with a wet rub tucked underneath the skin and finish with a tangy mustard sauce. Simple to prepare with lots of different textures: dots of mustard grains, purple onions and smooth green olives. A great dish to entertain with—just add a side of roasted potatoes and you're done! —broccolirose

  • Serves 4
  • Wet Rub + chicken
  • 10 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 serrano chili, minced (with seeds)
  • zest from one lemon
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons meyer lemon olive oil + more if needed
  • 1 spatchcocked chicken or 1 roaster cut into 8 pieces
  • Hot Tub Sauce
  • 1/2 cup meyer lemon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, cut into rounds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs fresh lemon thyme, English thyme or Lemon Verbana
  • 1 serrano chili chopped (seeds optional)
  • 1/2 cup grainy Dijon mustard
  • 12 pitted large marinaded green olives (picholine, manzanillo or queen) but any from your olive bar would work fine
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Juice from zested lemon
  • salt & pepper to taste
In This Recipe
  1. In a morter and pestle (or a mini processor) place garlic and salt and pulverize. Add peppercorns and contine to grind until broken up. Add chili and pound until paste forms. Add lemon zest and stir until all incorporated and a smooth paste is formed.
  2. Wash and dry chicken. Loosening the skin from the meat, place a teaspoon of the paste under each section and rub to smooth it out. Leftover paste is rubbed on the outside skin. Place chicken in frigerator to marinade for about 2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile make the sauce.
  4. In a fry pan, heat oil and saute onion rounds, bay leaf, thyme and chili for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add mustard, olives, white wine and lemon juice. Stir and taste for seasoning.
  6. Preheat oven to 375F. Place chicken in a roasting pan, skin side up. Roast for 30 minutes or until the skin develops a nice golden brown color.
  7. Add sauce to the roasting pan and baste the chicken a few times, making sure to cover all the exposed meat. Continue roasting and basting for another 20-30 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 180 degrees in the thigh.
  8. Remove the chicken, tent on a platter and keep warm in the oven.
  9. Pour the pan drippings into frying pan and simmer until it reduces to the consistency of olive oil.
  10. If a roaster, carve the bird and serve with the sauce. Would be great over basmati or jasmine rice or a grain like quinoa, farro or bulgur.

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