Monday, February 13, 2012

Roast Chicken with Jerusalem Artichokes (Sunchokes)

I love artichokes. The flower-like symmetry, the tender layer of "meat" on the leaves, the delicately cupped heart, the gorgeous purple and green hues... Perfection.  In fifth grade, the tradition at my school was for each student to create their favorite food in clay. I sculpted, fired and glazed a particularly UN-symmetric, NOT so gorgeous artichoke and proudly displayed it on parents night in a sea of ice cream, spaghetti and pizza.

So imagine my delight last year when receiving the CSA announcement about an upcoming delivery of Jerusalem Artichokes. I was surprised it was a local possibility, but hey an artichoke is an artichoke... right???

Then these guys showed up:

Not purple, nor green, and certainly not symmetrical or flower-like!  A brown, ginger looking root bulb.  A total misnomer.  Yet... there must be something in a name because I loved them. Nutty, perfect to roast, great with a little caramelizing and as I learned with a little experimentation, not nearly as daunting to prepare as their appearance would suggest.

This recipe for a roast chicken (thanks mummy!) with Jerusalem Artichokes, aka Sunchokes, is a cinch to prepare and gorgeous on the table.  If you only want to prepare the Jerusalem Artichokes, omit the chicken and other veg, and just include the lemon, rosemary olive oil blend.  Next up, Jerusalem Artichoke soup.

Roast Chicken with Jerusalem Artichokes (Sunchokes) 
  • One whole chicken (3-4 lbs for four people)
  • 2 cups of washed, roughly cleaned* Jerusalem Artichokes and other root vegetables
  • 1 lemon
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
*I have cooked these guys both fully peeled, and roughly cleaned and enjoy them more with a little skin.  They are softer than potatoes, so the skin keeps them in tact.  To save time, cut off any particularly dirty or bulby bits, scrub clean and peel slightly for an uneven appearance

  • Preheat the oven to 375
  • Remove anything from inside the chicken.  Rinse the chicken in cold water, and pat dry with paper towels
  • Meanwhile, blend 1/3 - 1/2 cup of olive oil (1/4 if just doing Jerusalem Artichokes) with the juice of one lemon and the leaves off three sprigs of rosemary until mixed
  • Rub 3/4ths of olive oil rosemary blend outside the chicken and in between the skin and body
  • Toss the vegetables (I used two cups of Jerusalem Artichokes, carrots and turnips because I didn't have enough of the star vegetable) with the remaining olive oil blend and arrange in a single layer in a roasting pan
  • Position the chicken on top in the middle of the pan (on a rack if you have one, not on a rack if you don't)
  • Salt and pepper the entire pan
  • Roast for 20 minutes per pound, plus an additional 15 minutes (i.e. 1 hour 35 minutes for 4 lb bird)
  • Remove from the oven, and use a meat thermometer to check for 180 degree internal temperature

About Jerusalem Artichokes 
The Jerusalem Artichoke, also known as the sunchoke, sunroot or earth apple, is native to North America (not Jerusalem!).  The origins of the name are unknown, but as a part of the sunflower family it is assumed that over time the name girasole (Italian for sunflower) may have been changed to Jerusalem.  As a CSA loving-friend told me, the most interesting fact about this tuber is that it stores the carbohydrate inulin, instead of starch, making it a great alternative to potatoes for diabetics.



1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed this with you! Thanks for sharing... Jess


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