Image cour­tesy of the publisher. 

Look­ing For­ward to Fri­day: Jew­ish Chicken 

Shab­bat din­ner is syn­ony­mous with roast chick­en. Just because Jew­ish chick­en isn’t spit roast­ed or south­ern fried or bar­be­cued doesn’t make it bland. Espe­cial­ly not this Jew­ish chick­en. This recipe comes from the new cook­book Eat Some­thing, brought to you by the team behind the Wise Sons delis in San Francisco.

Once you real­ize how effort­less this chick­en is to make — yes, even on a Fri­day night after work — you’ll want to do it every week. The key is sea­son­ing a dry chick­en ahead of time, and let­ting it rest in the refrig­er­a­tor, uncov­ered. Look for an air-chilled” chick­en at the gro­cery store, which just means it doesn’t have the added water con­tent of a con­ven­tion­al bird and will roast better.

You’ll find more deli­cious recipes and relat­able humor in Eat Some­thing, avail­able now wher­ev­er books are sold.

Serves 3 to 4 

1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp Dia­mond Crys­tal kosher salt 

1 Tbsp sweet paprika 

1 tsp fresh­ly ground black pep­per, plus more for seasoning 

1 tsp onion powder 

1 tsp gar­lic powder 

3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, lemon reserved 

One 4 lb [1.8 kg] whole chick­en, giblets removed 

2 medi­um rus­set pota­toes, peeled and cut into 1 in [2.5 cm] cubes 

2 large car­rots, peeled, halved length­wise, and cut into 1 in [2.5 cm] lengths 

½ medi­um yel­low onion, cut into small wedges 

3 Tbsp veg­etable oil

Image cour­tesy of the publisher. 

In a small bowl, whisk togeth­er 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp of the salt, the papri­ka, pep­per, onion pow­der, and gar­lic pow­der until well com­bined. Add the lemon juice and stir until well mixed. Set aside.

Over an emp­ty sink, use paper tow­els to pat the chick­en dry thor­ough­ly inside and out. This will take a few min­utes, but the chick­en will be bet­ter because of it. Place the chick­en in a large bowl or on a large rimmed bak­ing sheet. Using your hand, slather all the lemon-spice mix­ture over the entire bird, get­ting into all of the crev­ices and inside the cav­i­ty. This might seem like a lot of salt, but rest assured, it’s not. Stick the juiced lemon inside the bird.

Place the spice-rubbed chick­en, breast-side up, on a small bak­ing sheet or rimmed plate.

Extra points if you have a rack to slip under the chick­en, but it’s not nec­es­sary. Pull the legs apart slight­ly so there is decent expo­sure to the air for max­i­mum dry­ing. Put the bak­ing sheet on the bot­tom shelf of the refrig­er­a­tor, uncov­ered — the cir­cu­la­tion of the cool air will help dry and firm up the skin, while the lemon juice ten­der­izes the meat and the salt pen­e­trates the thick­er parts of the bird.

Let the bird rest in the refrig­er­a­tor for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

Pre­heat the oven to 425°F [220°C].

In a large bowl, toss the pota­toes, car­rots, and onion with 1 Tbsp of the oil and the remain­ing 1 tsp of kosher salt. Set aside.

Heat the remain­ing 2 Tbsp of oil in a large cast-iron skil­let over medi­um heat until shim­mering. Gen­tly place the chick­en in the cen­ter, breast-side up. Scat­ter the pota­toes, onion, and car­rots around the bird, plac­ing some of them under­neath the legs and wings to prop them up. The pan will seem crowded.

Roast in the cen­ter of the oven for 50 to 60 min­utes, until the juices run clear when you pierce the cen­ter of a thigh with the tip of knife, or an instant-read ther­mome­ter reg­is­ters 165°F [75°C]. Leave the oven on and, using oven mitts, care­ful­ly trans­fer the chick­en to a large carv­ing board or plat­ter. Let rest for 10 to 15 min­utes before carving.

Mean­while, use a wood­en spoon to toss the veg­eta­bles with all of juice in the pan. Return the skil­let to the oven for 8 to 12 min­utes, until the sug­ars have caramelized and the pota­toes have a nice, even­ly browned sur­face. Remove the pan from the oven and use a slot­ted spoon to scoop the veg­eta­bles onto a plat­ter. Gar­nish with a few grinds of pepper.

Carve the chick­en, and serve imme­di­ate­ly. The chick­en will keep, cov­ered, in the refriger­ator for up to 4 days, but the veg­eta­bles will be best enjoyed right away, as they will become a bit stale in the refrigerator.

This arti­cle is spon­sored by Chron­i­cle Books.