Last week Jason and I spent a night at his mom’s house and I thought what better way to pass some time while she and Jason were at a meeting than by making dinner for us all! I decided on a classic French dish we made over and over (and over) again in school, Poulet Roti Grand-mere, which means Roast Chicken Grandmother-style. Any dish with “Grand-mere” in it has the same 4 garniture: glazed pearl onions, bacon lardons, sauteed mushrooms and potatoes rissoler. It took quite a while to prepare everything, but in the end, we had a wonderful dinner. This is one of those dishes that I’d save for a Sunday afternoon when you have plenty of time to prepare it. It’s great comfort food perfect on a cool Fall or Winter day.
First, I prepped and trussed my whole chicken. I haven’t trussed a chicken in a while and was happy for the practice! After prepping my chicken and seasoning it with salt and pepper, I heated a large oven-proof pan on high heat on the stove and added a Tbsp of olive oil. When the oil was very hot, I browned the chicken on all sides. During this process, I started preparing my mirepoix of carrots and onions. I added the chicken trimmings and gizzards to the pan and put it all into a 425 degree oven. After 10 minutes, I added my mirepoix and cooked the entire mixture for another 30 minutes, basting every 10 minutes.
You know the chicken is done when the juices run clear and when the internal temperature reaches 145-150 degrees F.
While my chicken roasted, I started prepping and cooking the items for the Grand-mere garniture. This consists of cooking pearl onions glacer a brun (brown glazed), sauteing bacon lardons until crispy and rendering their fat, sauteing white mushrooms in the rendered bacon fat until browned, and cooking potatoes cocotte rissoler. Cocotte refers to the shape of the potatoes. Cooking potatoes rissoler is a 3-step process. First you cook the potatoes in salted boiling water until just tender and then let them air dry. Next, you saute them in oil until evenly brown and crispy on the outside. Lastly, you add butter to the pan and finish them in the oven, tossing frequently until done.
When my chicken was done, I let it rest for 10 minutes before carving it. I used the pan drippings and mirepoix to make the Jus. First I removed any excess oil and caramelized the vegetables on the stove top. Then I deglazed the pan with white wine to get up all the sucs (brown bits) in the pan. Next I added chicken stock, strained the vegetables out and let my sauce reduce to a thick consistency. After that I adjusted the seasoning with salt and pepper. I carved my chicken into 10 pieces (4 pieces of white meat, 6 pieces of dark meat) and started plating!
The dish came out wonderful – moist and really flavorful. We enjoyed it all with a bottle of white wine from the Hudson River Valley. For those of you who want to try this recipe out at home (and I suggest you do), I’ll be posting it on my Recipes page ASAP.