Roasted Chicken with Jerusalem Artichoke & Lemon
By Danielle Frum
As you can probably tell from my last Spring recipe -- Saffron-Infused Artichoke Soup with Lemon -- I get kind of obsessed with artichokes at this time of year. As a complement to the soup, I thought it would be interesting to bring in a main course recipe that uses the Jerusalem artichoke (sometimes referred to as "Sunchokes"), the less spiky cousin of the traditional artichoke.
What I love about the Jerusalem artichoke -- actually a sunflower tuber -- is that you get the bang of artichoke flavor in a much more gentle and unobtrusive form. You can slice up this guy and roast it with potatoes, and your guests will look up with surprise as if to say, "Why do these otherwise plainly roasted potatoes taste so delicious?" It can be cooked and blended into soups. Or it can be roasted on its own, and even pureed or mashed, for a change of pace from the regular side of potatoes.
This week's recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks by some of my favorite chefs: Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamini's Jerusalem: A Cookbook. It also posseses one of my favorite characteristics for a Shabbat dinner: It's a meal in a pan you can make in advance. All it requires is a green salad on the side.
*Note: the chicken requires at least two hours -- or preferably overnight -- to marinate.
1 lb Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut lengthwise into wedges 2/3-inch thick
3 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, or 1 medium whole chicken, quartered
12 banana or other large shallots, halved lengthwise
12 large cloves of garlic, sliced
1 medium lemon, halved lengthwise then very thinly sliced
1 tsp saffron threads
3 1/2 tbs olive oil
2/3 cup cold water
1/2 tbs pink peppercorns, lightly crushed
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
1 cup tarragon leaves, chopped
2 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Put the Jerusalem artichokes in a medium saucepan, cover with plenty of water, and half the lemon juice. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes, until tender but not soft. Drain and leave to cool.
Place the Jerusalem artichokes and all the remaining ingredients, excluding the remaining lemon juice and half of the tarragon, in a large mixing bowl and use your hands to mix everything together well. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight, or for at least two hours.
Preheat the oven to 475-degrees. Arrange the chicken pieces, skin side up, in the center of a roasting pan and spread the remaining ingredients around the chicken. Roast for 30 minutes. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and cook for a further 15 minutes. At this point the chicken should be completely cooked. Remove from the oven and add the reserved tarragon and lemon juice. Stir well, taste, and add more salt if needed. Serve at once.
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin from Jerusalem: A Cookbook.