Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton are a culinary dream team. They were among the heavyweights who created Saveur magazine. And in 2006 they launched their own culinary publishing powerhouse: Canal House Cooking, where you’ll find boatloads of great recipes and drop-dead gorgeous photographs – like the roast chicken featured here. (Click here to see the recipe.)
This chicken dish came about thanks to the “little apartment-size” stoves that Hirsheimer and Hamilton use in their test kitchen: They lack a rotisserie unit.
“So when we want to ‘rotisserie’ a chicken, we put the bird directly on the oven rack and slide a pan of sliced crusty bread, root vegetables, or potatoes and lemons onto the rack below to catch the flavorful juices,” they write in their new cookbook, Canal House Cooks Every Day (Andrews-McMeel Publishing, 2012), where this recipe appears.
The chicken is split and lies flat, like an open book, and makes for easier carving and faster cooking. It’s rubbed with extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with Spanish smoked paprika, or pimentón, as well as salt and pepper.
The potatoes and lemon slices, meanwhile, are tossed with extra virgin olive oil and fresh thyme. You could use our Everyday Fresh oil for this recipe, and give the chicken a finishing drizzle of our fruity Arbequina for another layer of flavor. (Click here to see the recipe.)
The dish initially is roasted at 475 degrees for 30 minutes, after which the temperature is lowered to 400 degrees for an additional 20 minutes – or until the chicken’s skin is golden brown and the thigh juices run clear when pricked.
“The potatoes should be browned and tender by the time the chicken is finished roasting,” Hirsheimer and Hamilton write in their book. “Leave them in the oven longer if they need more time.”
By the way, Hirsheimer and Hamilton’s “Canal House” moniker reflects the fact that their office – a test kitchen as well as photo and design studio – is perched along the Delaware Canal towpath, in New Jersey. There, they produce a beautiful online food magazine plus a steady stream of highly regarded cookbooks: the Canal House Cooking series of books.
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