What: Roasted Chicken with Jerusalem Artichoke & Lemon
Who: Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
This is a perfect recipe. The flavor combination, though unique and surprising to the tongue, is pleasing. The shallots are roasted sweet, the citrus (with peel and pith) caramelizes and intensifies, the chicken crisps and retains its moisture, the pink peppercorns are brusque, the tarragon is mild, and there is nothing particularly middle eastern about the dish until the saffron. And then it all comes together.
Jerusalem artichokes, or sunchokes, are starchy tubers similar to potatoes. When roasted, the skin becomes flaky and the flesh becomes tender, but the taste of a sunchoke is slightly nutty and sweet.
Ottolenghi and Tamimi suggest marinating the chicken overnight. I would follow their suggestion, otherwise the seasoning (particularly the salt) will not have had time to penetrate the chicken. I would also, as is not suggested, dot each piece of chicken with butter, and give the whole pan an extra sprinkle of salt before roasting it all in a parchment-lined 11 x 16 baker’s half sheet.