March 4, 2006 | Episode 9

Raw beef
A roast chicken is easy, cheap, and infinitely variable.  This simple pan sauce requires only a few ingredients.
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Simple Roast Chicken with Balsamic, Raisin, and Pine Nut Sauce

  • Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
    Makes 4 servings
  • 1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, giblets removed
    1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
    1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
    2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
    2 tablespoons raisins
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Adjust oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 450° F. Place a rack in a large ovenproof skillet or small roasting pan.

Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry. Place in pan. Tuck the wings beneath the chicken, as if it were placing its arms behind its head. Rub the oil over the skin. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Toss another 1/2 teaspoon salt into the cavity. Roast for 20 minutes. Add 1 cup water and roast until the chicken is cooked through and the thigh meat registers 180° F on a meat thermometer, about 40 minutes more. Use a spatula to loosen the chicken. With a wad of paper towels in each hand, transfer it to a cutting board. Place the pan containing the drippings over medium heat. Add the vinegar and broth and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain the sauce, if desired. Stir in the pine nuts, raisins, and remaining salt and pepper. Add the butter and tilt the pan to swirl until it melts. Spoon the sauce over the carved chicken.

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