When my Wolf range died last April, I had to forego roasting chickens for over two months. This was difficult for me as I think roast chicken, fresh from the oven, is one of life's great pleasures. And nothing could be simpler: a chicken, some olive oil, salt and pepper.
I could not be happier with my new Capital Culinarian range. It's purely mechanical...there are no electronics. Just fire and gas valves. But it has forced me to learn how to cook on the stovetop all over again. Making the switch from closed to open burners is a very big leap.
|On the left is a closed Wolf burner. The photo on the right is the open Capital burner.|
Most consumer stoves used closed burners. They are simple and incredibly easy to keep clean. Open burners are most common on commercial stoves (the ones they cook on in restaurants). They have a much higher heat output but they are difficult to keep clean. The first time I used the open burners, I was absolutely blown away by the heat output. I was burning and overcooking a lot of food.
On my old Wolf, it would take about 5 minutes to bring 3 cups of cold tap water to a boil. On my Capital, it takes only 60 seconds. When I cook stir fry with these new open burners, the wok gets so hot you can't hold a wooden spoon with your bare hand over the pan....you have to wear a cooking glove.
Fortunately, there has been no learning curve for the new oven. The Wolf was electric and the Capital is pure gas. Other than that, the ovens cook identically. Which means that I can get back to roasting my beloved chickens. And I did just that last Thursday night, testing out this new recipe I discovered in Food and Wine magazine. I happen to love roasted garlic and the roasted garlic pan sauce made this a "Winner Winner Chicken Dinner".
One 4-1/2 to 5 pound chicken
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Fresh cracked pepper
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
1/2 cup minced yellow onion
1/2 cup minced green pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
Pinch of dried thyme
2 tablespoons water
- Preheat convection oven* to 325º. Rub olive oil over the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in an ovenproof skillet along with the head of garlic, cut side down. Roast chicken for 90 minutes. Transfer chicken and garlic to a cutting board and tent with foil. Pour pan drippings into a heatproof bowl.
- Meanwhile, in the skillet, heat the tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion, green pepper and a generous pinch of salt. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the wine, bay leaf, thyme and the reserved pan drippings. Squeeze the roasted garlic into the sauce and bring to a boil over high heat, then simmer over moderately low heat until slightly reduced, 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Transfer to a blender, add 2 tablespoons of water and puree until very smooth. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
- Carve the chicken and transfer to a platter. Serve with roasted garlic pan sauce.
*If you do not have a convection oven, use a conventional oven at 425º for 75 minutes.
Wine pairing: A big, fruity Merlot!