Well I haven't been cooking too much in last number of weeks because I've been mainly laid up with a broken ankle, including 2 weeks I was out of town.  Anxious and very motivated to get back on my feet and start cooking in the kitchen. I took our local CSA box from JBG , that was filled with dill, kohlrabi, radish, and other vegetables and tried to make something delicious out of it. Kohlrabi which is a very under used and under appreciated vegetable which is In the Brassica family.  Kohlrabi to me when its roasted tastes a lot like cauliflower which isn't a far stretch since cauliflower is also in the brassica family.  Both can be eaten raw or cooked in a variety of ways.  One technique that is simply but really encapsulates flavor is En-papillote ( In parchment).  Basically you make a pocket or pouch for whatever you are cooking (vegetables, fish ) and you wrap up the paper so that no steam or air can escape.  You are basically steaming it in the oven with whatever aromatics you decide to cook with the vegetable.  In this case a little dill, olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, and bay leaf. (Endless ingredients to add, spices , herbs, wine, a good idea I had but didn't have on hand was verjus).  The result is really tender, moist, and delicious vegetables ( or fish).

The chicken I bought was from Richardson Farms at the triangle farmers market.  First time trying their chicken.  I did not brine the bird this time.  I simple seasoned the bird with coriander and fennel seed along with butter. Roasted it with mirepoix and lemon and it turned out really well.  The breast was juicy and tender.  I would like to try brining the chicken next time to see if there is any difference in the flavor or texture but overall very happy with our  local organic chicken.  

I paired the dish simply with dill and whey that I had leftover from some ricotta.  Finished the dish simply by sautéing the tops of the kohlrabi and fresh sliced radish.  Very simply and approachable dish that really didn't take but an hour or two tops.  Hope you enjoy!

 

1 whole chicken

2 tbsp of coriander seed

1 tbsp of fennel seed

2 tbsp of olive oil

4 tbsp of butter cut evenly in 6 pieces

1 carrot, 2 stalks of celery, 1/2 onion, 4 garlic cloves, 1 lemon quartered, 1 bay leaf, pinch of dill

Salt and Pepper

 

2 large kohlrabi peeled and tops washed

2 tbsp of olive oil

1 tsp of lemon zest

1 bay leaf, 1 tbsp of dill sprigs

4 garlic cloves

1 tbsp (verjus if you have it) 

Salt and Pepper         ( 1 sheet parchment paper)

 

Dill Whey Gel

2 cups of whey 

1 large bunch of dill blanched for 10 seconds

2 tsp of agar 

Salt and lemon juice to taste

 

3 breakfast radish sliced thin

Dill to garnish   

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

For the roasted chicken,

Place the bird in a large cast iron skillet or similar oven proof pan. Using your fingers, loosen the skin underneath the chicken breast taking close care not to rip the skin. Then place 3 pieces of butter under the skin of the left breast and 3 under the skin of the right breast.  In a spice grinder add coriander and fennel.  Pulse until coarse ground.  Drizzle the bird with olive oil and season aggressively with salt, pepper, and coriander mix on both sides of the bird and in the cavity.  Then chop the mirepoix into large pieces and stuff what you can inside the cavity and the rest around the bottom of the pan.  Add the remaining lemon, garlic, and herbs to the bird cavity and pan.  Then add a cup of water to the bottom of the pan.  Place in the oven and roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a thermometer in the leg reads 162 degrees.  Take the bird out and let it rest for at least 20-30 minutes.  Meanwhile

For the Kohlrabi,

Peel the kohlrabi and slice into 1/4 inch thick round pieces.  Then take a evenly cut piece of parchment paper and fold in half.  Take scissors and cut the parchment paper in a heart shape or oval shape.  Then open the paper back up.  Place the kohlrabi on one side of the oval.  Season with olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest, dill sprigs, bay leaf, garlic, and jus.  Then fold the paper back over the kohlrabi.  Starting at one end, fold the seams over and over again following the line of the oval (think folding an empanada, you sealing up the paper to keep all the steam inside the bag).  Place on a sheet pan and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until tender.  

For the Dill whey gel,

Place the whey and agar in a pot.  Bring to a boil string consistently.  Cook for 5 minutes and then pour into a blender.  Add the blanch and drained dill to the blender.  Puree for a minute until bright green.  Turn off and season with salt and lemon if need be.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer and pour into a shallow pan.  Cool in the refrigerator until it has solidified and cold.  Then using a knife break up the gel and place it back into the blender.  Puree until smooth and place in a squeeze bottle.

To finish 

Place a ring of dill whey sauce on the plate.  Then add a round of kohlrabi onto the plate. In a small sauté pan with a little olive oil and butter, sauté the tops gently until they are tender.  Place on the plate with shaved radish.  Debone the breast and cut in half.  Place on the plate. Finish the plate with fresh dill.  ( drizzle with a little chicken juice Not shown).  Serve and enjoy!

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