What a weekend, guys. I was in a wedding–on Thursday, actually, but sometimes you gotta make your own weekend. Love knows no calendar.
I don’t have friends most of my friends are a bunch of REBELS like me, I’d never even been to a wedding where I was close to the couple, much less in the wedding party. Sidenote: I’m lobbying for a new bridal party role of Maid of (Not Guilty, Your) Honor.
I learned so many things about weddings, gang. Such as:
1. The bouquet and garter that get tossed aren’t even the real ones. We have been lied to.
2. That video you take of the bride stressing out will be funny later. Like, the next day.
3. A groomsman accidentally getting left behind at the hotel: ditto.
4. Pets make really cute flower girls.
5. It’s not just a white dress; it’s a marvel of engineering. So many hooks and zippers and pins and ties.
6. Before looking at your credit card bill, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes to remember how much fun you had.
7. I’m still not a happy-crier. Just a happy-can’t-stop-smiling-er.
8. You know the bride loves you when the designated footwear is Converse.
9. A really stingy pour of Jack (for $7) is not enough in the way of public speaking juice. But that’s probably better than too much public speaking juice.
10. If they play “Time of My Life” at the reception… You have to at least try to re-enact the Dirty Dancing lift. Your mileage may vary, but laughs are guaranteed.
11. My blackjack game is terrible when I’m trying to flirt with the dealer. (Not wedding-related, but still.)
12. Apparently, all I want to do when I return to my kitchen after two days away is roast the bejesus out of some chicken.
I’m basically not going to shut up about Thomas Keller’s roasted chicken technique until you (if you eat chicken) try it. Hot oven, skin as dry as possible, and plenty of salt and pepper. That’s it: the secret to perfection. Fun things like soft, tart roasted apricots and tarragon are just the seasonal extras–and we always want the seasonal extras.
Raw apricots don’t impress anybody much, but when you roast them until they’re soft, they sing. So tart. So tangy. So “I’m almost eating jam but it’s not exactly sweet and there is chicken on my fork too WHAT IS GOING ON.”
What is going on is: rich, juicy chicken needs a refined, sharp friend. You know how chicken thighs are supposed to be the new bacon? Well. That crispy skin is no accident–there’s some fat here. I’m cool with it, but I’m even cooler with it when I have tartness and fresh herbs to even things out.
Yin, yang, etc. I feel like there’s an allusion of some sort I should be making to perfect unions, ideal mates, two becoming one… Hmm.
Anyway! BIG congratulations to Mary and Robert, and big congratulations to you too, for being awesome and for never, ever ditching the crispy skin of a well-roasted chicken. Let’s eat.
- 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 apricots, halved and pitted
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped finely, plus more for sprinkling on top
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Pat dry the chicken well, trim it of excess fat, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Transfer to cast-iron skillet or baking dish, skin side up, and roast 45-50 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and crispy.
- Meanwhile, toss apricots and 1 tablespoon of the tarragon together with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. After 35 minutes of roasting the chicken, quickly add the apricots to the chicken pan and roast for 10-15 minutes until tender.
- Remove chicken and apricots from pan, sprinkle with additional fresh tarragon, and serve immediately.
- If you'd like, you can deglaze the pan with a bit of chicken stock or white wine and a pat of butter, but I don't think this really needs a sauce. Up to you!