Inspiration comes in many forms. Sometimes I'm inspired to cook something new after trying a new dish at a restaurant; hearing or reading about a new culinary trend, or seeing a new technique on television. And sometimes I'm forced into creativity, in an effort to use up an ingredient that might go bad or be wasted.
In Seattle, we are fortunate to have access to Amazon Fresh, a grocery delivery service. It's wonderful. I can place an order for groceries in the morning, and have them outside my door by the afternoon. I don't have to drive anywhere, deal with crowded fluorescent lit box stores, and I can grocery shop from anywhere; bed, the airport, a break from work. It's wonderful. One drawback however, is quantity. I am often mistaking the quantity of an item I will receive, as my ability to recognize spacial measurements is sometimes under par. For example, the 10 jalapeños I received in a recent order. I needed one to make White Chicken Chili one weekend, but ordered 8oz of them. Not realizing that a single jalapeño is quite light and I probably should have just walked over to Whole Foods for that one ingredient, I had more jalapeños than I knew what to do with.
What do you do with an excess number of jalapeños? Poppers might be the logical route, but they're not my favorite appetizer. Jalapeño jelly would also be a good option, but I did not have any canning jars on hand. I did however, have a whole chicken and some potatoes. Roasting the chicken with diced jalapeño spread under the skin and folded into mashed potatoes used up a few of the peppers I had on hand and the result was a mildly spicy chicken with really great jalapeño flavor. If you don't like spicy food, this recipe is still for you. It is barely spicy, I would rate it a 1 or 2 out of 5 on a spice scale.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare roasting pan. Mine is an inexpensive pan from Ikea, but any roasting pan with a rack that will keep the chicken elevated and allow fat to drip away will work and create a nice crisp skin.
In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of room temperature butter with the zest of 1 lime, 1 clove of garlic, minced or grated, and 1 jalapeño pepper, minced. Mix together well and set aside.
Spatchcock the chicken. I'm convinced that this is the best way to quickly roast a whole chicken. Roasting time is cut down to 45-60 minutes depending on the size of the bird, and the resulting skin is super crispy and wonderful. To spatchcock the bird, lay the chicken backbone side up on a cutting board. Using kitchen shears, cut down each side of the backbone to remove. You can save this to make chicken stock, but I usually discard it. Turn the bird over and press firmly on the breast bone to break it, allowing the bird to lay flat in the roasting pan.
Dry the chicken with clean paper towel. Using your fingers to loosen the skin, spread the jalapeño butter between the meat and skin of both the breast and thighs. Use about half of the butter for this process. Spread the remaining butter evenly over the skin. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Place the chicken in prepared roasting pan and roast uncovered 45-60 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165 in the thickest part of both the breast and thigh. I highly recommend getting an instant read thermometer like this one. It makes life so much easier. I start checking my bird 30 minutes into roasting, and can gauge how much longer it will take based on that first reading. The instant read means the oven is open a shorter period of time and I get an accurate reading right away. An overcooked chicken is a dry sandpapery mess, and undercooked chicken can be a health hazard. An instant read thermometer ensures the perfect temperature every time.
While the chicken is roasting, prepare the mashed potatoes. These are a riff on jalapeño poppers, with bacon, jalapeños, and cream cheese mixed in and they are wonderful. I don't particularly like jalapeño poppers, but these potatoes are awesome. Peel and dice two large baking potatoes and bring to a boil in a large pot of water. Cook potatoes until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
Dice four strips of high quality bacon (check out your local butcher for great options) and one jalapeño pepper. Saute the diced bacon until most of the fat has rendered. Add the diced jalapeño pepper and cook for another 2-4 minutes, until the pepper has softened and the diced bacon is crispy. Drain in a fine mesh sieve or on paper towel.
When potatoes are done, mash with a potato masher or a fork and stir in two tablespoons of melted butter, 1/4 cup of room temperature cream cheese, cooked bacon and jalapeño peppers, and 2 tablespoons of diced green onion. Season with salt and pepper and mix well; cover to keep warm.
Remove chicken from the oven and allow to rest 5-10 minutes before carving. Serve chicken over mashed potatoes garnished with fresh chives. Leftover chicken (if there is any leftover!) is fantastic in White Chicken Chili!
Jalapeno Roast Chicken and PotatoesBy Land of Noms, March 19, 2015
- 1 whole chicken
- 2 large jalapeno peppers
- 1 clove of garlic
- 5 tablepoons of room temperature butter, divided
- Zest of 1 lime
- 2 large baking potatoes
- 4 strips of cook quality bacon
- 1/4 cup of cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons of chopped green onions
- Salt and pepper
- Preaheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a small bowl, mix together 3 tablespoons of room temperature butter, the zest of 1 lime, 1 clove of minced garlic, and 1 minced jalapeno pepper
- Spatchcock chicken by cutting down each side of the backbone with kitchen shears to remove the backbone, flip check over and press firmly on the breast bone to break and flatten the chicken; dry well with clean paper towel
- Loosen skin on breasts and thighs and spread 1/2 of butter mixture between meat and skin
- Spread remaining butter mixture over the top of the chicken and season with salt and pepper; place in roasting pan on a rack
- roast 45-60 mintues or until a meat thermometer reads 165 in the thickest part of both the breast and thigh, begin checking temperature at 30 minutes to avoid overcooking
- While chicken is cooking, peel potatoes and dice; place potatoes in a large sauce pan and cover with water
- Season cooking water with salt and bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook 20 minutes or until fork tender
- Dice bacon and cook in a medium skillet until fat is mostly rendered
- Dice remaining jalapeno and add to bacon, cook 4-6 minutes or until bacon is crispy and jalapeno is softened; drain in a fine mesh sieve or on paper towel
- Mash cooked potatoes with a fork or potato masher and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of room temperature butter, 1/4 cup of room temperature cream cheese, bacon and jalapeno mixture and chopped green onions; cover to keep warm
- Remove chicken from oven when cooked through and rest 5-10 minutes before carving, serve over mashed potatoes
Sharing our culinary adventures in Cascadia with simple, sustainable & satisfying eats. Bon Appétit!