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THE CONFIDENT COOK

Recipe: Honey-mustard roast chicken with baby potatoes is sweet with a little heat

Honey-Mustard Roast Chicken with Potatoes.
Honey-Mustard Roast Chicken with Potatoes.Sheryl Julian

Serves 4

Dinner before the day-long Yom Kippur fast should be hearty and filling. The Jewish holiday begins at sundown on Sept. 27 and a roast chicken with a little sweetness, just right for four, might be a fine centerpiece. Most people who host a large gathering and spend the day in the kitchen won't be cooking like that this year. Serve the golden bird with a pan of roast baby potatoes. Give the little spuds, which you pre-cook in a steamer, a head start in the oven, then add a split whole chicken to the same pan and roast it for half an hour. Mix honey and Dijon mustard together (honey-mustard from a jar will not be as good as the one you mix yourself from the two ingredients). Cover every bit of the skin with the glaze and send the bird back to the oven to brown. If you want a little char on the skin, slip the dish under the broiler for just half a minute. The glazed bird is sweet and has a little heat from the French mustard; the potatoes are crisp and soaked in chicken juices. Your table may not be full of guests, but your small group will be delighted.

1whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), split to make 2 halves with backbone removed
14 small potatoes (red, white, or golden), skins intact and scrubbed
2tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil (for sprinkling)
2tablespoons honey
2tablespoons Dijon mustard
2tablespoons mixed chopped fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley)

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Have on hand a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Let the chicken sit at room temperature while you prepare the potatoes.

2. Fit a large saucepan with a steamer insert and enough water to come up to the level of the steamer rack. Add the potatoes and cover with the lid. Bring the water to a boil and let the potatoes steam for 10 minutes. (They will not quite be cooked through.)

3. Meanwhile, sprinkle the 2 tablespoons olive oil into the baking dish. When the potatoes are done, transfer them to the dish and roll them around so they're coated all over with oil. Leave for a few minutes until they are cool enough to handle. Halve them (or quarter if large). Roll them around again until the cut sides are coated with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the potatoes for 15 minutes.

4. Push the potatoes to the sides of the pan. Set the chicken in the middle, skin side up. Rub the skin with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Return the pan to the oven and roast the chicken for 30 minutes. (The chicken will not be done at this point.)

5. In a bowl, stir together the honey and mustard. With the back of a spoon, rub the chicken skin all over with the honey mixture. Return the chicken to the oven and continue roasting for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees. (Total roasting time is 1 hour.) If you want to char the skin a little, slide the dish under the broiler for half a minute; watch it carefully because it will burn easily at this point.

6. Sprinkle with the herb mixture.

Sheryl Julian

Serves 4

Dinner before the day-long Yom Kippur fast should be hearty and filling. The Jewish holiday begins at sundown on Sept. 27 and a roast chicken with a little sweetness, just right for four, might be a fine centerpiece. Most people who host a large gathering and spend the day in the kitchen won't be cooking like that this year. Serve the golden bird with a pan of roast baby potatoes. Give the little spuds, which you pre-cook in a steamer, a head start in the oven, then add a split whole chicken to the same pan and roast it for half an hour. Mix honey and Dijon mustard together (honey-mustard from a jar will not be as good as the one you mix yourself from the two ingredients). Cover every bit of the skin with the glaze and send the bird back to the oven to brown. If you want a little char on the skin, slip the dish under the broiler for just half a minute. The glazed bird is sweet and has a little heat from the French mustard; the potatoes are crisp and soaked in chicken juices. Your table may not be full of guests, but your small group will be delighted.

1whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), split to make 2 halves with backbone removed
14 small potatoes (red, white, or golden), skins intact and scrubbed
2tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil (for sprinkling)
2tablespoons honey
2tablespoons Dijon mustard
2tablespoons mixed chopped fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley)

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Have on hand a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Let the chicken sit at room temperature while you prepare the potatoes.

2. Fit a large saucepan with a steamer insert and enough water to come up to the level of the steamer rack. Add the potatoes and cover with the lid. Bring the water to a boil and let the potatoes steam for 10 minutes. (They will not quite be cooked through.)

3. Meanwhile, sprinkle the 2 tablespoons olive oil into the baking dish. When the potatoes are done, transfer them to the dish and roll them around so they're coated all over with oil. Leave for a few minutes until they are cool enough to handle. Halve them (or quarter if large). Roll them around again until the cut sides are coated with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the potatoes for 15 minutes.

4. Push the potatoes to the sides of the pan. Set the chicken in the middle, skin side up. Rub the skin with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Return the pan to the oven and roast the chicken for 30 minutes. (The chicken will not be done at this point.)

5. In a bowl, stir together the honey and mustard. With the back of a spoon, rub the chicken skin all over with the honey mixture. Return the chicken to the oven and continue roasting for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees. (Total roasting time is 1 hour.) If you want to char the skin a little, slide the dish under the broiler for half a minute; watch it carefully because it will burn easily at this point.

6. Sprinkle with the herb mixture.Sheryl Julian


Sheryl Julian can be reached at sheryl.julian@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @sheryljulian.