In East Hampton, N.Y., there is a very popular restaurant called Nick and Toni’s. They cook the chicken in an iron skillet inside of a wood-burning oven. Simply seasoned with salt and pepper and roasted with pancetta, garlic cloves, and fresh rosemary, its skin is perfectly crisp and the succulent meat rich with flavor. I created this recipe during the off-season when I was dreaming of feasting at Nick and Toni’s.
Crispy Oven-Roasted Chicken
- 6 boneless, skin-on chicken breast halves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ lb pancetta or slab bacon, cut in ½-inch cubes
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 15 garlic cloves
- Canola oil
- 1 Tbsp chopped, fresh rosemary, plus sprigs of rosemary for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Rinse the chicken and pat dry completely.
Heavily salt and pepper each piece. Set aside.
In a medium ovenproof skillet over medium heat, cook the pancetta until
crispy, about 6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drain
off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Add the olive oil and garlic cloves.
Cook until the cloves are golden brown. Transfer to oven and bake until
the cloves are soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Carefully remove the pan from the
oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large ovenproof skillet, heat 1 inch of canola oil over
high heat until very hot but not smoking. Carefully place the chicken
skin-side down in the hot oil. Let cook 3 to 4 minutes to start crisping
the skin. Do not turn. Carefully transfer the pan to the oven and bake
until the chicken is cooked all the way through, 7 to 8 minutes. Carefully
remove the pan from the oven.
Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Sprinkle the top with
pancetta, garlic cloves, and fresh rosemary.
Recipe from Katie Lee's book, The Comfort Table, available for purchase here.
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Next up: Potato Chip-Crusted Chicken