The Chicken Onion - A Delightful Crispy Recipe

So which came first? The chicken or the onion? I love eating crispy chicken skins. As a child, I used to wait until my parents’ backs were turned and then quickly tear a bit of the skin off the bottom of the chicken after it just came out of the oven. The flavors of the herbs, citrus and onion in the stuffing inside mingled with the sexy juicy fat of the cooked skin. Beautiful.

The onion part came later in the kitchen of Feast where I was searching for a way to use the skin in a new dish. I tested many things, wrapped everything from peaches, apples and pears to various root vegetables up in the skin and roasted them. And then I knew: the humble red onion. It was a marriage made in heaven with the red onion swelling full of chicken juices, getting sweeter as it baked, topped with lots of black pepper and fresh thyme. For service, I put it on a little salad to mop up the juices and a little squirt of sherry vinegar to mix with the liquid chicken fat to make a quick luscious dressing for the salad. Behold the noble Chicken Onion!

By / Photography By Francine Spiering | March 28, 2018

Ingredients

  • 4 medium red onions
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ounce fresh thyme
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce
  • 3 radishes
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 chicken skins (you should be able to get 2 portions off 1 chicken)
  • 3 tablespoons Spanish sherry vinegar

Preparation

Thoroughly wash and dry your chicken. Place on a cutting board breast side up. Cut just through the skin on one side of the breastbone from the neck down to the end where the breastbone meets the cavity.

Gently with your thumbs get under the skin and peel the skin back and around, trying your best to keep it in one piece. You can even make a small slice down each leg so you can get those off easier too.

Turn it over as you go, literally turning all the way around till you get to the other side of the breastbone. If you have done well you will have 1 large strange-looking giant piece of chicken skin. Throw the rest of the chicken in the trash. Kidding! Cook something fantastic for your special people.

Peel the red onions, cut off the root. Then make a ½-inch-deep cross in the other end. Cut foil squares big enough to totally cover the onion, bearing in mind that you won’t be wrapping it tightly.

Spray the foil squares thoroughly with pan spray, then place the onion root side down in the middle of the foil.

Season generously with salt and freshly cracked black pepper and the thyme. Wrap the onion in the chicken skin. Fold up the corners of the foil carefully; you want to just seal it but the sides of the foil should not touch the chicken onion inside. Place on sheet pan and bake in a 300°F oven for 2–3 hours, depending on your oven. To test if they are ready to be pulled just give 1 a gentle squeeze. It should be soft and squishy but still with a little body.

Take chicken onions out of the foil and reserve juices, place back on the sheet pan topped by a little olive oil. And a little kosher or Maldon salt. Heat the oven to 450° and place them back in.

Whilst you are waiting for the skins to crisp up, shred the lettuce, slice the radish finely and rip off a few parsley leaves; place this mix in a small pile in the center of the plate. Make a quick dressing with the chicken juices and the sherry vinegar, taste for seasoning then drizzle on the salad.

When chicken skin is crispy, pull them out of the oven and place the chicken onions gently on the salad.

Eat immediately :)

Ingredients

  • 4 medium red onions
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ounce fresh thyme
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce
  • 3 radishes
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 chicken skins (you should be able to get 2 portions off 1 chicken)
  • 3 tablespoons Spanish sherry vinegar
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