A local favorite restaurant of mine, Nick and Toni’s in Easthampton, makes one of my favorite roast chickens. They have a wood-burning oven in which they roast most of the main courses that are served–meats, fish and chicken.
One of the things that makes their roast chicken so good is chunks of house-cured pancetta scattered about, as well as roasted whole cloves of garlic.
Tonight, I’m in the mood for my version of this roast chicken. I’m using bacon instead of pancetta (because I have it) and shallots instead of garlic (because the shallots looked better than the garlic at my market).
Because this is a weeknight meal and I wanted to abbreviate the roasting time, I’ve used chicken thighs instead of a whole roast chicken.
The chicken thighs are arranged on a bed of thyme branches, along with the shallots.
All gets seasoned generously with salt, pepper and drizzled with olive oil, then roasted in a preheated 400-degree oven for about a half hour. The bacon cubes get added to the roasting pan for an additional 15 minutes of roasting.
At the end of 45 minutes, turn on the broiler to brown the chicken (if it’s not golden brown already). Once you turn on the broiler, keep a close watch on the chicken because it will go from brown to black in an instant.
In addition to the chicken, we’re having skillet potatoes and broccoli di rapa with pine nuts and raisins.
The leftovers will make great lunches in the days to come.