Caesar Salad Roast Chicken - bon appétit
I’ve been cooking a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Obviously I enjoy it, I post enough shit and talk about food enough with people that there’s a general understanding that I do, in fact, cook.One of my favorite things to do ever is to cook for people. In a somewhat selfish way I love to make people happy because it makes me happy. The food is of course the star, but it can also feel like the supporting actor to the table full of people I love being together talking about whatever. Whatever I cooked made this happen, but really food in its essence brings people together. I love it man.
Over this quarantine I’ve consumed cookbooks and recipes. I read a cookbook like it’s a fucking novel, constantly learning about new things when it’s just recipe after recipe telling you what temperature to cook whatever at. It’s fascinating to me, but I’m very aware that regular people don’t do this because, well, they just don’t. But when my feed was flooded more than ever with recipes to cook anything these past few months I’m reminded that there are people that genuinely have no idea what they’re doing in the kitchen. They need something to follow, especially now more than ever. That’s why I’m going to actively try recipes that are catered to the everyday person and see if they are as easy as they seem. These are recipes that appear in your feeds, that show up in really popular food magazines. The ones that are the most accessible to people. If you want people to make them they better be easy, so let’s go.
I love bon appétit (I understand the shit storm they’ve gone through these past few months in regards to representation and I support the changes, I’m just making a recipe calm down) because their magazine always looks beautiful and their food photographer makes everything look amazing. So, when I saw the Caesar Salad Roast Chicken (by Molly Baz, one of my favorite food personalities) as one of the feature recipes of the month I knew I had to try it for this series.
Now, i’m not going to list out the recipe or tell you exactly how to do what. You can follow the recipe yourself, found here. Instead, I’m going to do the recipe (mostly) straight up and exactly how it’s written, so as to find out if it’s actually doable and comes out the exact same as all the pretty pictures in the magazine. Ok, let’s get it going kids.
You can see all the stuff I used from that really cool, could-be-better lit picture right above. The recipe itself calls for ingredients that I pretty much already had. I did sub out shallots for onions and limes for lemons because I didn’t have those, but those are like for like swaps.
I feel like I always need to do a PSA for anchovies whenever they're called for. You need to understand that anchovies add depth to dishes. They don’t add fishiness. I understand that when you open up the can you scream. I get it. But grow up though. If you’ve had a real caesar salad made in front of you then there’s a 99% chance they added anchovies into the dressing. They’ll make you better, I promised. And they’re actually important here, so use them.
The hardest part of this was making the dressing and that was easy and actually tastes so bomb. I’ll definitely be keeping the dressing recipe at least because it was crazy simple and came out really good, so watch out for that. It’s also really important to put the chicken on the onions so that the drippings fall on to the onions and all flavour gets used. They mentioned this in the recipe too, very pro move.
I cooked this boy for 45 minutes in a 450 oven and it came out so perfect. The dressing ended up caramelizing and forming this added crust, and the onions on the bottom soaked up all the drippings, turning them into these unquious flavor bombs. They softened and turned dark and were everything I wanted.
I then reduced the oven to 400, followed how to make croutons and dress the salad, and I came out with this.
What a success. The recipe was as easy as can be. To the point and exact, which is what I want. What they told me to do I did, and what they said would happen actually happened. The all star of this whole thing was the anchovy mayo dressing. Full of umami, I’m constantly thinking of things I can slather on. The ingredients were spot on, the timing for everything was exact, and, most importantly, these were all ingredients that I had already or would normally have. Nothing bothers me more than a recipe that calls for something I will only use once and never again, and I gotta pay $10 for that one thing that is so integral to everything. Not in this recipe.
To sum everything up, make this damn dish. So simple, so easy, so fucking good. Do it, I believe in you.