I kind of love Eric Ripert, his philosophy on food, his accent… anyway I also love his new PBS show, Avec Eric. He shows you what’s happening at Le Bernardin, visits a location where they are making something, and then goes back to his kitchen to cook what he’s been inspired by. One episode (you can watch all of them on his Avec Eric website) focused on traditions, and he cooks his grandmother’s roasted chicken recipe. Sold. So I present to you his roast chicken, with some of my own humble modifications.
Budget: $16, serves four to six, so $2.67 to $4 a serving.
Note: Since I bought a chicken from the farmer’s market, it was vastly more expensive than what you’d find at the grocery store. You could easily find a 4 lb chicken for $5, not the $13 I spent. Since this recipe is so simple, I feel you need to buy quality ingredients because there isn’t anything else to cover up sub-par ingredients. That being said, this would be cheaper with a bird from the grocery store.
Recipe details after the jump.
A regular feature in which I cook cheap, gourmet meals.
- 4 lb whole chicken, I got mine from Pecan Meadow Farm at the 14&U farmers market ($13)
- Day old bread of some kind, half a loaf of baguette for example (about $1.5o)
- 1 lemon, juice and zest (about $.50)
- 2-3 tbs of olive oil (pantry)
- 3 cloves of garlic (pantry)
- 2 tbs various fresh herbs, Eric Ripert uses parsley, I’m partial to thyme/rosemary/sage (about $2 for amount used)
- salt and pepper (pantry)
- kitchen string (pantry, hopefully! don’t use blue string, use white)
Total: $17, just a dollar over
- To make stuffing: cube up day old bread and soak with about 1 tbs olive oil in a bowl (to rehydrate it, if your bread isn’t old don’t use as much), add lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper to taste, minced garlic, and fresh chopped up herbs.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove the tip of the chicken wings with your knife (they’re going to get too overcooked to eat say I, I assume
that’s Eric Ripert’s reason but he doesn’t specify). I also removed the neck as it was still attached on my bird.
- Generously season bird with salt and pepper, both outside as well as inside the cavity.
- Stuff bird with your stuffing.
- Tie chicken’s legs like so: wrap under the legs, then around, then tie together (see Eric Ripert’s Traditions episode for a video instruction).
- Pour 2 tbs or so of olive oil on the chicken to help browning.
- Put chicken in a shallow pan in the oven to let brown, for about 20 minutes. Then, lower oven to 350 and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour until chicken is done (cook longer if your bird is bigger). Mr. Ripert says he tells if chicken is done by piercing the chicken and waiting for the juices to flow. If they’re clear, it’s done. I won’t tell if you use a thermometer instead.
- Carve chicken, serve with stuffing and juices from the pan (which you can reduce and add a roux to in order to make some gravy) and a simple salad (like the one Eric Ripert makes in his show). This is simple to make, and wonderful. Enjoy!