Honey-Dijon Chicken with Rosemary Garlic Compound Butter
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cumin and Rosemary
So I decided to jump on the compound butter bandwagon, and create a roast chicken dish. Originally, I had planned to do a Honey-Blue chicken: brined chicken breast with a blue-cheese compound butter, honey, and hot sauce. It was my play on the traditional hot wing: butter, hot sauce, honey, blue cheese. I was all excited to do it until I went to the grocery store and couldn’t find blue cheese…ANYWHERE. Who doesn’t carry blue cheese?!? Needless to say, I abandoned the idea, determined to adapt. That’s when I came across dijon mustard, and changed gears completely.
Chicken, to me, can be incredibly bland. When you grow up on Indian food, it’s difficult to find dishes that are just as bold and flavorful as a “curry” or “tikka”. I set out to make the most flavorful, but simple chicken i could.
Rosemary and garlic, a classic combination, seemed to be the best way to go.
I made a compound butter of rosemary, garlic, crushed red chili flakes, and a little salt. Then I seasoned two chicken breasts, on the bone, with a liberal amount of salt and pepper. I spread the butter uniformly underneath the skin of the chicken, then brushed the skin with a mixture of dijon mustard and honey. For a side-dish, I peeled and chopped sweet potatoes, red onions, and seasoned them with salt, pepper, olive oil, and smoky cumin.
I roasted the potatoes alongside the chicken, until tender and slightly caramelized. The verdict: delicous. The honey and dijon really flavored the chicken well: sweetness, saltiness, and a slight acidity. The butter made the dish incredibly rich and moist. Cutting into it was like bursting a water balloon, juices everywhere. For extra flavor, I spooned the pan-drippings over the chicken before serving it. Rich, i know, but when you’re eating white meat you need to bump up the richness. Try my recipe below:
2 large chicken breasts (on the bone)
2 sprigs rosemary (finely minced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
3 tablespoons softened butter (little less than 1/2 a stick)
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt plus 3/4 more
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
4 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
Ingredients for Potatoes
3/4lb sweet potatoes
1 small red onion (or 1/2 medium-large onion) large chop
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
freshly cracked black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Begin by making compound butter. Simply combine two cloves minced garlic with two sprigs minced rosemary and three tablespoons softened butter. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes and mix well. Reserve. In a small bowl, combine 3/4 teaspoon salt with 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Use this to season chicken breasts liberally on all sides, including under the skin. Take compound butter and spread evenly under the skin, smoothing out with your hands, reserving about a tablespoon or so to spread evenly on top of the skin. Then combine honey and dijon mustard and brush over the tops of the chicken breast. Prepare roast potatoes by peeling and chopping sweet potatoes into even chunks. Chop onion into same sized chunks and mix with potatoes, seasoning with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, and black pepper. Spread over a baking sheet.
Roast chicken in a roasting pan alongside potatoes at 425 degrees for about 35 minutes or until juices run clear and browned. Tent with foil and let rest for about ten minutes before removing from bone and slicing. Spoon pan drippings over the top for extra flavor and enjoy!