We’re all in for those extravagant cooking nights, but nothing beats the simplest recipes made well. The beautiful new cookbook by visual storyteller, author and home cook, Marte Marie Forsberg, is about honing tradition then elevating it to a modern new level. Take a trip to the English countryside with Marte’s Cottage Kitchen and this pitch perfect roasted chicken recipe from its pages…
Everyone has a go-to roast chicken recipe, and this is mine. The combination of clove and orange creates a wonderful aroma, and, paired with butternut squash and pears, it’s a terrific meal. As it uses only one pot, this dish is easy and relatively quick to make and is just as delicious reheated the next day, or made into a chicken soup with whatever is left over. Put it in the oven an hour before your guests arrive, and you’ll have time for a stress-free cocktail before enjoying the main meal.
ORANGE + CLOVE ROAST CHICKEN WITH PEARS AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH
¹⁄₄ cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing
1 (4 lb) free-range organic chicken
½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
¹⁄₄ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp whole cloves
2 oranges, quartered
5 to 7 fresh thyme sprigs
2 to 3 fresh sage sprigs
4 garlic cloves, crushed, skin-on
2.9 lb butternut squash, peeled, cored, cut in half lengthwise, and sliced
2 yellow onions, quartered
2.2 lb British Maris Piper potatoes (Yukon gold will also work), peeled and quartered
4 conference pears or other firm pears, halved and cored
extra-virgin olive oil, for roasting
1 cup white wine
Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack set in the middle.
Butter a large roasting pan with 1¼-inch-high sides. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes prior to roasting. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Place the chicken in the prepared roasting pan, breast-side up.
Using a mortar and pestle, firmly pound the butter, black pepper, and red pepper flakes until well combined. Use your hand to carefully loosen the skin away from the chicken breast. Gently stuff half of the butter mixture underneath the skin on the back of the chicken. Rub the remaining butter over the top of the chicken, then season generously with salt and black pepper. Press the whole cloves into the top of the chicken, piercing the skin with the clove tip or with a skewer. Squeeze 2 orange wedges over the top of the chicken. Place 2 additional orange wedges inside the chicken with half of the thyme, sage and garlic.
Arrange the butternut squash, onion quarters, potatoes, pears and remaining orange wedges around the chicken, and scatter the remaining thyme, sage, and garlic among the vegetables. Liberally drizzle with olive oil and half of the wine. Cover with aluminum foil.
Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven. Roast 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, uncover, and stir the vegetables well every 10 minutes. Baste the chicken with the juices from the pan and the rest of the white wine. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and roast, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and crispy brown, stirring through twice more, 20 to 25 minutes.
Reprinted from The Cottage Kitchen. Copyright © 2017 by Marte Marie Forsberg. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.