Roast Chicken with Shallots and Dried Cranberries


Slideshow: Amazing Chicken Recipes


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  • Servings: 4

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  • One 4-pound chicken
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) French hard cider
  • 8 small shallots, peeled
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 3/4 cup dry vermouth, preferably French
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • One 10-ounce bag baby spinach

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Put the chicken in a small roasting pan and rub the skin all over with the butter. Generously season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the juices tipped out of the cavity run clear. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and cover loosely with foil; let stand for 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the hard cider with the shallots, dried cranberries, cloves and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat until the cranberries are softened, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the cranberries to a medium bowl. Continue to simmer the shallots until they are tender, about 20 minutes longer. Strain the mixture into a smaller saucepan and transfer the shallots to the bowl with the cranberries. Boil the cider over moderately high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes.

  3. Pour off the fat from the chicken-roasting pan and set the pan over two burners. Add 1/2 cup of the vermouth and simmer over moderately low heat, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes. Add the reduced cider and any accumulated juices from the chicken and simmer, stirring, until the sauce is reduced to 3/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce into a small saucepan and keep warm over low heat.

  4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the pine nuts and cook over moderate heat, shaking the pan occasionally until golden, about 1 minute. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of vermouth and the lemon juice and boil over moderately high heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cranberries and shallots and heat through; season with salt and pepper. Carve the chicken and serve the shallot-and-spinach mixture alongside, passing the sauce at the table.

Suggested Pairing

The distinctive tart-berry fruitiness of a Pinot Noir harmonizes with the cranberries here. Consider a California bottling.

Contributed By Photo © Anna Williams Published September 2002

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