Roasted chicken with fish-sauce butter
Yield: 4 servings
Total time: 45 minutes
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
- Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal) and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 pound bread, crusts removed, bread torn into bite-size pieces (about 4 cups; see tip)
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, kept whole
- Cilantro leaves with tender stems, for serving
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season lightly with salt and pepper. (The fish-sauce butter is plenty salty, so don’t overdo the salt here.) Arrange the chicken skin-side up on a sheet pan and drizzle the oil over the chicken skin, coating it evenly. Roast until the chicken is light gold and the sheet pan is pooling with hot, rendered chicken fat, about 25 minutes.
2. Take the sheet pan out of the oven, scatter the bread around the chicken and toss gently to coat in the chicken fat. Place the pan back in the oven and roast until the chicken is golden, crispy and sizzling (you’ll hear it), about 15 minutes.
3. While the chicken roasts, combine the brown sugar, fish sauce and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, occasionally swirling the pan or stirring the sauce with a wooden spoon, until bubbling vigorously and the mixture has reduced by about half, 2 to 3 minutes. This part is fun: Turn off the heat and add the butter, constantly swirling the pan or stirring with a wooden spoon, until all of the butter has melted and incorporated into the fish sauce mixture.
4. To serve, scatter the cilantro all over the chicken and bread and spoon some of the fish-sauce butter over each chicken thigh, reserving some to add to each plate for dipping the chicken and croutons while eating (which is divine).
TIP: Many breads will work here, especially stale loaves that you’re trying to use up. Crusty sourdough lends pleasurable tang for instance, while chewy tender milk bread tastes comfortingly sweet.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
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