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Roasted Chicken with Spaetzle, Brussels Sprouts and Smoked Apple Puree

As an accompaniment to his roast chicken, Chef Chris DiMinno tosses brussels sprouts with the tiny German noodles known as spaetzle, then folds in smoked apple puree. It’s the perfect meal for an autumn evening.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more, to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Olive oil as needed, plus 3 Tbs.
  • 1 chicken, 4 to 4 1/2 lb., trussed
  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, chives and chervil
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Smoked apple puree, slightly warmed, to taste (see related recipe at left)

Directions:

To make the spaetzle batter, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the flour, eggs, milk, the 1 tsp. kosher salt, the 1/4 tsp. black pepper, the cayenne and nutmeg on medium speed for 10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Place a perforated pan or a large colander on top of the pot. Using a plastic dough scraper, push the spaetzle batter through the holes into the boiling water and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a spider or a skimmer, transfer the spaetzle to the prepared baking sheet to drain. Transfer to a bowl and toss with a little olive oil to prevent the spaetzle from sticking. Set aside.

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Season the chicken with salt and black pepper and rub the skin all over with 2 Tbs. of the butter. Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan. Transfer to the oven and roast until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170°F, 45 to 60 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the brussels sprouts and cook, tossing the pan occasionally, until the sprouts are browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add 2 Tbs. of the butter and the stock to the pan and continue cooking until the liquid has evaporated and the brussels sprouts are just tender, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl and cover loosely with foil.

Return the pan to the stovetop, increase the heat to medium-high and melt the remaining 1 Tbs. butter with the 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the spaetzle and cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through and lightly browned. Add to the bowl with the brussels sprouts and stir in the herbs and lemon juice. Fold in smoked apple puree, to taste, and adjust the seasonings with salt and black pepper. Carve the chicken and serve the brussels sprouts and spaetzle alongside. Serves 4.

Recipe courtesy of Chris DiMinno, Head Chef, Clyde Common, Portland, OR.