You’d never think to order it, but one of the best things on the menu at The Publican in Chicago is the farm chicken. Starting with a fresh, local, organic chicken, Publican chefs marinade the bird in a sweet, lemony, peppery glaze and grill it until the skin is lightly charred and crispy. What comes out is a remarkably juicy and perfectly seasoned piece of chicken better than just about any you’ve ever had.
Last weekend, I set out to recreate this delicious meal at home. Fortunately, Chef Paul Kahan gave the New York Times a glimpse of his magical recipe. It’s a combination of olive oil, brown sugar, lemon, garlic, spanish paprika and oregano that smells amazing as it comes together. After removing the backbone from the chicken, I set it in a bowl and covered with the thick marinade and allowed it to rest in the refrigerator for several hours. Every hour or so, I’d flip it over and baste a little more to ensure maximum coverage with the delicious mixture.
Grilling was easy — just follow the recipe and use indirect heat, basting every so often. I highly recommend grilling and not roasting — the sugar in the marinade caramelizes on the skin and leaves the outside with a perfect crispy and sweet char.
I served it with a roasted potato and parsnip mixture, redolent of olive oil and oregano, and some garlicky sauteed Russian red kale.