Roast Chicken with Vanilla Bean Brown Butter Sauce

Roast chicken with vanilla? You bet.

Who doesn’t love cooking or baking with vanilla? This month, we’re partnering with Ashley Rodriguez of Not Without Salt to share tips, insights and recipes featuring vanilla.

It seems like everyone has an opinion about the best way to roast chicken. You can dry brine, wet brine, buttermilk brine — roast at high heat, roast low-and-slow.  But have you ever heard of brushing your bird with vanilla?

Absolutely.

Sweet and savory aren’t at odds with one another. In fact, so often they form a beautiful marriage where one improves the other — as a good marriage should. It’s an unexpected combination that will leave your guests wowed and asking you for the recipe.

If time and ease are a concern, there’s one shortcut that will make this recipe even simpler: Make a fragrant butter by mashing together a half a stick of soft butter along with finely minced shallot, lemon zest and the seeds of a vanilla bean. Tuck it on and under the chicken skin. Whatever ends up in the bottom of the pan creates a lovely sauce to spoon over the finished and sliced chicken.

And why stop there? Try it with turkey and especially duck, whose rich texture is famous for pairing quite well with fruit, which means the sweet notes vanilla brings to the table will make great friends with duck as well.   

Live.Love.Lux Tip: Never worry about uneven roasting, thanks to the dual-fan convection heat in your Electrolux Gas Range.

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Roast Chicken with Vanilla Bean Brown Butter Sauce

"Vanilla bean and bay are a well-known match, but perhaps you want something a bit more fresh and bright? I’d suggest tarragon to add a hint of anise, or if you are still able to get your hands on fresh basil, that will liven this dish up nicely." - Ashley

Servings: 4

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Ingredients

One 3 to 3 1/2 pound chicken

Salt & pepper

1 lemon, halved

1 shallot, quartered

1 vanilla bean, split in half

1/2 stick butter

2 bay leaves, fresh or dried

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 400°F (Try the Convection Roast setting here for a deeply bronzed and crisp skin).

Generously salt and pepper your chicken inside and out. This step can be done a day in advance for a deeply seasoned bird (often referred to as a dry-brine).

Tuck the lemon, shallot, and vanilla bean into the cavity of the chicken.

Set a cast iron pan or oven safe skillet over high heat until it is screaming hot.

Carefully add the chicken, breast side down and sear for 4 minutes. Do not disturb the chicken during the process.

Transfer the skillet to the hot oven and roast for 50 to 60 minutes or until the temperature reaches 160°F in the deepest part of the thigh.

Carefully remove the chicken from the pan and let rest on a cutting board or plate for 15 minutes. While the bird rests prepare the sauce.

Give the skillet a quick wipe to remove any remaining large pieces from the roasting process. Some chicken fat and drippings are good to leave in, so no need to clean the pan entirely.

Remove the vanilla bean from the chicken and add it back to the skillet along with 1/2 stick of butter and the bay leaves. Melt and brown the butter. The butter is brown when most of the white, milky bubbles have calmed and the butter itself smells nutty. Once you can see and smell that stage, remove it from the heat immediately to avoid burning.

Let the butter cool slightly before straining it into a dish for serving.

Drizzle the finished chicken with a bit of the sauce and a squeeze from the roasted lemon. Be sure to pass the sauce around when serving as well.

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