Friday, February 4, 2011

Roast Chicken with Oyster Mushrooms and Winter Squash

Photo by Sergio Salvador www.salvadorphoto.com

Fresh, delicately-flavored oyster mushrooms are a tasty treat available year-round from local producers. Gael and Scott of Exotic Edibles, based in Edgewood, have been selling their mushrooms at the farmers' markets in downtown Albuquerque and Los Ranchos for about ten years now. Los Poblanos Organics has also started producing oyster mushrooms in the last couple years, available through their CSA.

Whenever I'm trying to think of the perfect thing to do with oyster mushrooms, I'm disappointed in the recipes I find online. Either they treat them like any other mushroom, and the other ingredients cover up their delicate flavor, or they simply grill them. So I thought I'd start here, simply roasting them along with some heirloom garlic, and some heirloom pumpkin (the Black Futsu) - both from the farmers' market this summer and bred for keeping well through the winter. Watch for more oyster mushroom recipes to come.

Photo by Sergio Salvador
www.salvadorphoto.com
We've also been enjoying delicious local chicken this year from Keller's Farm Store and Pollo Real. Keller's raises their poultry near Moriarty. Pollo Real raises certified organic pastured chickens near Socorro, and sells them at La Montanita Co-Op and Santa Fe Farmers' Market. They also have a CSA, and now is the time to sign up – memberships start in February!

1 free range chicken, about 3 pound
1 head of garlic
Olive oil
1 pound winter squash, sliced ½ inch thick
2 shallots, sliced thinly
¼ pound oyster mushrooms, sliced ½ inch thick
¾ C. white wine
¼ t. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
¼ t. each dried marjoram and thyme
Salt
Freshly ground pepper 
Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse the chicken, pat it dry, and sprinkle salt all over the skin. Set it breast-side up on a rack, either the folding kind set in a 9x13-inch baking pan, or the flat kind set over the pan so there is room underneath. Trim roots off the head of garlic, and slice the top off to expose the cloves. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon olive oil over the top. Set cut side down in the pan under the rack. Roast 30 minutes.
Toss the squash, shallots and mushrooms with wine, herbs, pepper, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Add the vegetables to the baking dish and turn the garlic heads cut side up. Don't be tempted to pile in more squash, as I tend to do, because it may throw off the cooking time. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes more, until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is done (be sure to check the bottom side). Allow the chicken to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Transfer the chicken and vegetables from the baking dish to a platter. Deglaze the baking pan with ½ cup of white wine and simmer in a small skillet or saucepan. Cut the chicken into quarters, and serve with vegetables and wine sauce. Serves 4.
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