Sources suggested a wide variety of nuts and seeds for the job, but I narrowed it down to cashews and blanched almonds because their pale color and subtle flavor (when raw) would make them easy to hide. I soaked the whole nuts overnight, drained them, and pureed each in a blender for 5 minutes, adding just enough water to keep things moving.
Both purees looked creamy, but the almond one was a bit grainy. I’d proceed with the smoother cashews (for more information, see “Cashews: Cream of the (Nut) Crop”), but first I wanted to see if I could trim down that soaking time.
I wondered if creating more surface area on the cashews for water to be taken in would help, so I roughly chopped them and soaked them for only 3 hours. This yielded a nicely smooth puree, so next I tried finely chopping them and soaking them for 1 hour. Success again—but could I skip the knife work altogether?
My next batch of cashews went straight into the blender, where I let the machine grind them until they looked like fine gravel mixed with sand. Then I transferred them to a bowl, covered them with water, and let them sit for just 15 minutes, after which I drained them in a fine-mesh strainer and returned them to the blender. One minute on low speed and 4 minutes on high turned them smooth and creamy. Time to make dressing.
I started out with a “ranch”-style herb dressing, the simplicity of which would test the cashews’ anonymity. After grinding, soaking, and draining 1 cup of nuts, I returned them to the blender. I added just enough water to enable the mixture to form a vortex while blending; I then added cider vinegar, shallot and garlic, salt and pepper, and a touch of sugar for balance.
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Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!
Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.
Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!
John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.