SPONTANEOUS CELEBRATION

On our final night in NYC, we stormed my friend Alison’s apartment for an impromptu roast chicken dinner party. It’s fast becoming one of my signature dishes, but there are worse things of which to be known, I suppose. It truly is my go-to dish for something impressive looking + results in large quantities + is super easy to make + relatively affordable.

I stuffed the 5 lb monster with rosemary, garlic and lemon and roasted at 425F for about 90 minutes. I always chop up a bed of vegetables that basically poach underneath the chicken fat — this time it was the contents of Alison’s fridge (diced celery, carrots, fingerling potatoes and quartered red onions). I forgot to tuck rosemary sprigs underneath the breast skin (sage + thyme so good for this too), but dusted the skin with plenty of smoked paprika, which gave it such a nice amber, golden glow when pulled out of the oven.

We served the bird with roasted purple potatoes and carrots, and a salad of sauteed sugar snap peas, diced avocado, halved cherry tomato and red leaf lettuce (dressing made with chicken fat drippings, of course). I completely spaced on taking any photos, or else I surely would have documented the perfect apple crumble I made for dessert — dice four Empire apples and toss in a few tablespoons granulated sugar, teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg, and 1/4 cup honey. Top with cup of flour cut with stick of butter and brown sugar and sprinkle on top of the apples. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbling and caramel golden, about 45 minutes. Alison! Thank you so so much for having us — such a satisfying, complete meal.

[All photos by Alison Leiby]

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