Spring Fling: Through Summer Love

By Isaac Cantu  ::  Photography by Kelsey Grudle

Spring symbolizes new growth and rebirth of the land, allowing so many things to emerge in the culinary world. There is excitement in the kitchen as we have the chance to change menus to reflect the new and bountiful produce that will be offered at local markets and from our farmers through the end of summer. Jewel-toned rainbow carrots and figs, and peaches and heirloom tomatoes — the quintessential fruit and veggie of our Texas summer — are just a few ingredients that the Cordillera Culinary Team will be presenting over the next few weeks.

This past spring, the Cordillera Culinary Team had the opportunity to begin working with a great chicken product from Crystal Valley Farms. This two-and-a half-pound, whole chicken, home-grown in Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan, is raised without antibiotics, and on non-GMO corn and soybean-based feed. It is also air-chilled vs water-chilled, one of the most important factors and the true selling point for us. Air chilling is a slower process which provides more effective tenderizing, less water waste and absorption and, therefore, a more flavorful product. In fact, its full flavors that were shown during the tasting of this product surpassed other farms and made it to our note pad of menu ideas for this season. The Culinary Team came up with a beautiful Half Roasted Rosemary Chicken dish that has subtle flavors of rosemary, sweet carrots, garlic mashed potatoes and peas. A pretty simple dish you might say, but very intense as well, with flavors that complement each like only fresh ingredients can.

So while the Half Roasted Rosemary Chicken dish was created as the cool breezes of spring were blowing, it’s seasonality will last through the hot months of summer and beyond in your own kitchen. Please come join the Culinary Team of Cordillera Ranch and celebrate our seasonal summer menu, and enjoy recreating this dish on you own.


Half Roasted Rosemary Chicken (Yields Two Portions)

1 2.5 pounds whole chicken, cut in half, removing breast bone
1 cup Rosemary Italian Vinaigrette
10 oz Potato Puree
6 oz Honey-Glazed Texas Carrots
4 oz Garden Peas
2 oz Natural Au jus

For the Rosemary Italian Vinaigrette (Yields One Quart)
¼ cup Rosemary, minced
2 T Italian Parsley, minced
1 T Oregano, minced
2 T Thyme, minced
1 T Chives, minced
1 T Garlic, minced
1 T Shallot, minced
3 T Dijon Mustard
2 oz Red Wine Vinegar
3 oz White Balsamic Vinegar
3 cups Canola Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Add all ingredients to a blender, except oil. Slowly add oil while blender is running to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Chicken:
Marinate each half of the chicken in ½ cup of the Rosemary Italian Vinaigrette by rubbing generously all over the chicken and allowing to sit overnight in the refrigerator. Season with salt and pepper all over and roast in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken, around the thigh, reaches 165 degrees.

Serve with potato puree, Texas honey-glazed carrots and sautéed garden peas. A natural reduction of chicken stock or chicken drippings with a little whole butter, (note: cold butter), mounted, or slowly added, can be used as the natural au jus.

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