There is nothing quite like a perfect roast chicken to warm your body and soul during the dog days of winter. Indeed, whether you’re making it for a group of friends on a chilly night or just for yourself (hello, amazing leftovers!), there’s a lot to love about this classic dish. Christiann Koepke of Portland Fresh is offering up own roasted chicken recipe, a delicious twist that includes garlic and cayenne! Dig in!
Garlic Cayenne Confit Roasted Chicken
For the roast chicken
1 5lb organic pasture raised chicken
2 fennel bulbs
1 medium walla walla sweet onion
Sea salt + Pepper
Garlic Cayenne Confit (recipe below)
For the Garlic Cayenne Confit
¾ c. butter
1 large head garlic, minced (8-10 cloves, depending on size)
½-¾ t. cayenne pepper (½ for medium spice, ¾ for hot)
1 t. sea salt
In saucepan, melt butter and allow to simmer on low for about 5 minutes to enhance the flavor. Add minced garlic, stir, and cook for 3-5 minutes or just until it barely begins to brown. Remove from heat and add cayenne pepper and salt, stirring until incorporated throughout. Place in fridge to cool until it begins to solidify, about 20-30 minutes.
Note: there will likely be extra confit—reserve for later use (spread on everything!!)
Prepare chicken for brine by removing the chicken giblets (reserve for later use if desired). Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers. Place in large, sealable bag and cover with filtered water. Add ¼ c. kosher sea salt and shake gently until salt mixes in evenly. Place in fridge and brine for 6 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove chicken and rinse to remove salt from brine. Place chicken in oven safe roasting pan and pat dry with paper towel (this is to help with rubbing in the confit so it doesn’t slide off). Spread confit over the entire top and sides of the chicken. Add a fresh cracked salt and pepper lightly over entire bird.
Rinse fennel and slice bulb in large wedges. Reserve stalks and fronds for later use. Chop onion in large wedges, and slice lemons in ½” slices. Rinse fresh herbs. Place vegetables and herbs around chicken, placing a few small portions in the cavity of the bird and some underneath the body. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Drizzle vegetables only with olive oil.
Roast the chicken for 1 ½ hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh and a thermometer inserted into the inner thigh (but not touching the bone) registers 165°F. Remove the chicken and vegetables from the oven and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes to rest. Slice and serve immediately.
Christiann Koepke is a Portland-based photographer, stylist, recipe developer and author behind the popular blog, Portlandfresh.com where she showcases her immense love for the art behind crafting incredible food. She’s also passionate about traveling, shooting, hosting long table gatherings and teaching her craft worldwide. Follow her on Instagram and Pinterest.