Roast Chicken and Warm Escarole Caesar

This dish of chicken from the menu at Dusek’s in Chicago is a sleeper hit, joining soothing meal chicken and the briny kinds of Caesar salad for a comfortable dinner. Marinating the chicken for no less than 24 hours in a koji marinade makes it overall quite succulent while mixing it with lots of flavors. The chicken rises out of the broiler flavorful, sweet, somewhat smoky, and marginally hot with a profound earthy colored covering. It’s the ideal counterpart for the fair withered escarole, which actually holds some crunch and is somewhat unpleasant. Delicately cooked potatoes add an additional weight to the planning, and a custom-made Caesar dressing unites everything. A recipe for garlic confit can be found.

Roast Chicken and Warm Escarole Caesar


Caesar Dressing


Prepare the Chicken:
  • Sprinkle chicken with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 4 or up to 8 hours.

  • Process shio koji, Shabazi, confit garlic, sugar, lemon zest, and 1/2 cup of the oil in a food processor until mixture forms a paste, about 1 minute. Remove chicken from the refrigerator. Place chicken in a large ziplock bag; add koji marinade, and seal the bag. Massage marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 48 hours.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F with 1 rack in the center position and 1 rack in the bottom position. Remove chicken from marinade, and place on rack in a roasting pan; discard marinade. Roast on center oven rack in preheated oven until a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of chicken registers 165°F, about 1 hour.

  • During the final 30 minutes of chicken cook time, toss together potatoes, thyme, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a separate roasting pan. Place on the bottom oven rack in the oven, and roast until potatoes are fork-tender, about 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through cook time. Remove from oven; set aside until ready to use.

  • Remove chicken from oven; let rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Carve into 8 pieces (2 breast halves, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, and 2 wings).

  • While the chicken rests, cut the escarole head in half lengthwise, and chop it into large chunks. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Working in 2 batches, add escarole, and cook, stirring constantly, until it just begins to wilt, about 1 minute. The escarole should still have some crunch. Remove from heat; set aside until ready to use.

Prepare the Caesar Dressing:
  • Process egg yolk, lemon juice, Parmesan, water, mustard, garlic clove, confit garlic, and anchovies in a food processor until mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. With the processor running, slowly stream in oil to form an emulsified sauce (it should look like a thin mayonnaise), about 1 minute.

  • Toss together potatoes, escarole, and 1/3 cup Caesar Dressing in a large bowl until evenly coated. Transfer mixture to a platter, and place chicken on top. Store Caesar Dressing, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

    1 cup extra-virgin olive oil


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