Ask A Boston Chef: Farm-To-Table Roasted Chicken (& Beer Pairing)

April 17, 2014 6:15 AM

(Photo from Farmer in the Dell)

– Foreword by Steve Saleeba, CBS Boston
Recently, I stumbled across a new neighborhood restaurant just outside of Boston. Farmer in the Dell in Walpole focuses on the farm-to-table concept that’s made even better as local fruits and vegetables become more readily available during the spring and summer time. So, I reached out to Executive Chef Adam Laliberte to see if he’d let us in on the secret. He was kind enough to share his recipe for one of the dishes on the menu – Roasted Springer Mt. Farms Chicken With Grilled Asparagus & Pan Gravy. Chef Laliberte also provided us with a perfect beer pairing for the dish — a bottle of New Hampshire-brewed Smuttynose Finestkind IPA.

Note: Farmer in the Dell will begin holding special 4-course farm-to-table dinners on Saturday nights which will focus on boutique farms and purveyors. . The first is on May 10th, with the focus on spring vegetables, local meat and seafood. It’s reservation only, and limited to 25 seats.

Roasted Springer Mt. Farms Chicken With Grilled Asparagus & Pan Gravy

(Photo from Farmer in the Dell)

(Photo from Farmer in the Dell)

Serves 4 People


For the Brine

water 2 quarts
salt 3/4 cup
brown sugar 1/2 cup
black peppercorns 1 tbsp
juniper 1 tbsp
crushed garlic 2 cloves
sage 2 sprigs
rosemary 2 sprigs
thyme 2 sprigs
bay leaves 3 ea
oranges, cut in half 1 ea

For the Asparagus

Asparagus, trimmed and blanched 1 1/2 lbs.
olive oil 2 tbsp
salt & pepper to taste

For the Chicken

all natural chicken, the best you can buy 4 lbs.
salt & pepper to taste
Medium yellow onion or 1 bunch spring onion (if available), sliced thin 1 ea
olive oil 1 tbsp
Red wine (if you wont drink it don’t cook with it) 1 cup
Chicken Stock (if store bought us the low sodium) 2 cups
thyme 2 sprigs

First, make the brine by placing all the ingredients in a large stock pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Let the brine cool to 40 degrees. Place the whole chicken in the brine and let soak for 2 hours. After the 2 hours remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.

Season the bird with salt and pepper and roast in a 350 degree oven using a beer can chicken roaster and a roasting pan ( no beer can is needed). Roast the chicken for 1 hour and then let the chicken rest for 1 hour.

While the chicken is resting, make the gravy by sautéing the white or spring onions in the olive oil ( using the roasting pan from the chicken) until caramelized. Add the red wine to the onions an let reduce until all the wine has evaporated. Add the chicken stock and fresh thyme and reduce the sauce by half, seasoning with salt and pepper.

For the asparagus, season them with the oil, salt and pepper, then grill them on high heat for 30 to 60 seconds depending on how hot your grill gets.

To finish the chicken, split the bird in half buy removing the back bone then cutting threw the breast bone with a heavy duty knife. Watching a YouTube video before attempting for the first time will help you to understand how this is done. Clean the chicken of any excess fat, then place on a sheet pan skin side up. Roast in a 500 degree oven for 8 to ten minutes. This will reheat the chicken and crisp the skin to perfection.

To assemble the dish, place the asparagus on a platter, arrange the chicken around and spoon over the gravy. You can drizzle with a high quality EVOO to finish the dish if desired.

(Photo from Farmer in the Dell)

(Photo from Farmer in the Dell)

Executive Chef Adam Laliberte
Farmer In The Dell
935 East Street
Walpole, Massachusetts 02081
(508) 921-3647

Farmer in the Dell was founded by Executive Chef Adam Laliberte, Pastry Chef Brooke Laliberte and Manager Thi Bowles. It is a Farm to table themed fast casual restaurant concept inspired by quality homegrown meats, produce & Artisanal goods that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Bowles and the Lalibertes all have significant culinary experience. Executive Chef Adam earned his BA at the Culinary Institute of America, a seasoned chef with an exceptional food and wine palate. He trained and worked in fine dining restaurants in Italy, Napa Valley and Boston. Brooke, a graduate from the Culinary Institute of America, grew up in the business, having a mother who owned and operated a successful landmark restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska. Brooke trained and worked in restaurants in New York, Napa Valley, and Boston. She utilizes her skills as a baker and pastry chef. Thi has worked several years in the Gourmet Market sector as a Catering Director and Floor Manager for a Asian Fusion Concept in Boca Raton, and most recently as a Cooking instructor.

Farmer in the Dell prides itself being family owned and operated and is extremely proud to serve the local community in which they live in.