Climbing the Coop: The Humble Chicken’s Rise in Fine Dining

November 12, 2014

It’s usually the chicken’s more elegant cousin (quack!) that gets the spotlight on fine dining menus. Move over, duck, because celebrated chefs everywhere are elevating the humble chicken to fine dining status. Lately, chicken dishes are finding their way on the menus of some of Las Vegas’ most celebrated chefs, such as Joel Robuchon, Masa Takayama, and Hubert Keller. Check out these stunning roast chicken recipes from both James Beard Award-winning chef Hubert Keller of Fleur and the Maccioni Family at Le Cirque. Plus, a sneak peak at what other celebrated chefs in Vegas are plating.

Fleur’s Roasted Chicken Breast
Courtesy of Hubert Keller 

2 pound organic chicken
1 pound fingerling potatoes, split in half length wise
4 sprigs thyme and rosemary
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup blanched cipollini onions ,cut in half
1/2 pound of butter
olive oil
salt and pepper
5 garlic cloves, lightly smashed

The day before you begin cooking, purchase a whole chicken and request that the butcher French the wings. Thoroughly wash the chicken and then salt it liberally.

Stuff the cavity with half of the thyme and rosemary. Let the chicken sit uncovered overnight to ensure that it dries and forms a skin.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and place a pan in the oven to sear the chicken. When the oven is preheated and the pan is hot, place the chicken in the pan with the breast facing up and straight into the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 155 degrees. The chicken will continue to cook and reach an internal temp of 165 degrees. 

When the chicken is done take out of the oven and let it rest it for 8 – 10 minutes. 

While the chicken is in the oven, toss the potatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper and place in them in the oven to roast until they are almost tender. When they are almost tender take them out, place them in a pan and add the butter, the rest of the thyme and rosemary and garlic. Toss them over a high flame till they are tender and the butter turns slightly brown in color and nutty in aroma and flavor. 

When ready to serve, break the chicken down in to quarters. Use the thyme and rosemary from the potatoes to garnish your plate.

Le Poulet Rôti aux Asperges et Chanterelles (Roasted Organic Chicken, Asparagus, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Roasted Baby Potatoes, Sauce Vin Jaune)
Courtesy of Le Cirque

For 1 Portion:
Half of Chicken (leg, thigh and breast)
5 Asparagus
Chanterelle Mushrooms (250gr)
Peewee Potatoes (5pc)
Skinless Oven Dried Tomato
Shallots (200gr)
Vin Jaune (1 bottle -500 ml)
Chicken Jus ( roasted chicken bones with carrots , celery, onions and leeks topped with water and simmer for 4 hours; strained and reduced to syrup consistency)
Pellagra Butter (50gr)
Sweat the shallots, deglaze with Vin Jaune and reduce until almost dry. After add the chicken jus and finish with the butter.
The asparagus and blanched in salted water for 4 minutes  

The potatoes are confit in oil, garlic and thyme for 45 min

Chanterelles are sautéed with butter, garlic and thyme for 4 minutes
After all vegetables are all glazed together in chicken stock and butter and plated.
The Chicken is seared separately in grape seed oil until fully cooked and rested after for 10 minutes.
The plate is assembled together when all components are ready.

Heading to Vegas? Check out these other haute cuisine chicken dishes from the area’s star chefs:

For the flavors of France, don’t miss Chef Joël Robuchon’s (MGM Grand) Le Poulet Fermier (shown at top), a caramelized farm chicken with succulent foie gras that is then plated atop of farro risotto with snow peas.

Looking for something Asian in flavor? Head to barMASA (ARIA Resort & Casino) for a taste of the three-Michelin-starred Chef Masa Takayama’s Garlic Taro Chicken Nuggets, a brilliant combination of Japanese culinary technique and comforting Hawaiian cuisine.

Head to Julian Serrano (also at ARIA) for another James Beard Award-winning chef’s creations. Chef Serrano combines his French background and Spanish heritage in this simple Mediterranean Chicken Skewers dish with incredible flavors. The tender and juicy chicken sautéed with special Mediterranean spices is served over a unique beet hummus for a homerun dish.