THE Dish: Seamus Mullen's Sunday Roast Chicken

(CBS News) NEW YORK -- Don't let chef Seamus Mullen's name fool you.

He grew up on an organic farm in Vermont, but a trip to Spain during his senior year in high school began a love affair with Spain that continues to this day.

Seamus has garnered critical acclaim for his take on modern Spanish cuisine.

In August, he opened Tertulia, and it's already one of New York's most popular Spanish restaurants.

Seamus is a winner of the "Time Out New York" Chef of the Year Award, and Tertulia was nominated by the James Beard Foundation for its Best New Restaurant honor.

Seamus recently released a cookbook, "Seamus Mullen's Hero Food: How Cooking with Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better, " and he was a finalist in the fall of 2009 on the Food Network's "Next Iron Chef."

On "CBS This Morning: Saturday," Seamus dished about his love of Spain, his mother and grandmother.

And he shared recipes for his ultimate dish: Sunday Roast Chicken, as well as his Grandma Mutti's Blueberry Boy Bait dessert.

All "CBS This Morning: Saturday" recipes
Blog: "What's Cooking"
Special section: Food and Wine

RECIPES

All recipes below are from "Seamus Mullen's Hero Food: How Cooking with Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better"

Sunday Roast Chicken

There's nothing quite like a roast chicken to end the weekend and begin the week. Leftover leg meat, pulled apart and folded into some allioli, makes delicious chicken salad and the carcass can be turned into an easy, satisfying stock. The main problem with cooking birds is the classic cooking conundrum: The breasts and the legs require completely different cooking times. Otherwise, you wind up with perfectly cooked breast and raw legs, or succulent legs and leathery breast.

Fear not! Science prevails! Here's a terrifically simple way to ensure a juicy bird that's perfectly cooked on all four corners. By roasting it at two temperatures the legs cook slowly, breaking down all the connective tissue that makes the meat tougher, and the breast isn't overexposed to high heat. At the very end, you crank up the temperature for a nice golden, crispy skin. Serve the roast with a crispy and succulent bread salad.

Serves 4 or more

  • 1 3-to-5-pound roasting chicken, brined overnight and air-dried in the refrigerator
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons, cut into quarters
  • 1 head garlic, 1 clove set aside and the rest peeled and lightly crushed
  • Handful each fresh basil and tarragon
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 loaf country bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 shallot, sliced paper thin on a mandoline
  • 1 quart mixed heirloom tomatoes, cut into rustic chunks
  • Healthy shot sweet sherry vinegar such as Pedro Ximenez

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the lemon quarters, lightly crushed garlic, and basil and tarragon, setting aside a few leaves of the herbs for the bread salad.

Place the chicken in a large roasting pan, breast side up with the wings tucked under its back, and tie the legs together to close the cavity. Roast at 300 degrees F for 1 hour, until both the thigh and the breast read 150 degrees F on a meat thermometer.

Thoroughly brush the chicken with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Return the chicken to the oven and roast until crispy and golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Set aside to rest while you prepare the bread salad.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the bread. Saute until crispy and golden. Once it's golden, grate the remaining clove of garlic and toss with the bread over the heat for 20 seconds more. Remove to a large bowl. Add the shallots and tomatoes to the bread in the bowl; drizzle with 4 tablespoons olive oil, the sherry vinegar, and torn leaves of the basil and tarragon; toss and set aside.

When you're ready to serve, arrange the bread salad around the chicken in the roasting pan or on a platter.

For more of Seamus's recipes, to go Page 2.

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