New York Times Green Goddess Chicken

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Last night was a first attempt at the now infamous New York Times Green Goddess Chicken recipe, and hoo boy was it a hit! A hit with ourselves, naturally, because nobody else lives here and we would never attempt a new recipe for the first time when we had guests over (OR WOULD WE?!) We congratulated ourselves heartily.

Up until now, I’ve always thought of Green Goddess dressing as a feisty, zippy sidekick for salad only. Who am I, world’s least imaginative cook? Why yes, yes I am, nice to meet you. But really. It’s called SALAD DRESSING. Forgive me for not thinking outside the box.

Only we are way outside the box with this one, and it’s a delicious place indeed. The buttermilk and herbs give a nice lift to what would otherwise be a pretty standard (though still delectable) chicken. As Julia Child said in My Life in France, “Ooh, those lovely roasted, buttery French chickens, they were so good and chickeny!” The same could be said of our local SF chickens, though I don’t know any chicken, chickeny! or otherwise, not made better by a tangy, savory sauce, and most especially one that is rip roaring, herbalicious, Hulk-style bright green!

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The next time we make this, I’d use only one sardine (as opposed to two anchovies) for a hint of fish, as opposed to being slapped in the face with a fish. A fish slap seems like the stuff of great physical comedies from the Victorian era. Super funny, yet non-appetizing.

I’d also recommend lightening up on the salt. The marinade was SUPER salty. Like, Great Salt Lake + the side eye your granny gives you when you tell a dirty joke at Thanksgiving. SALTY! I would back off by at least a half teaspoon, if not a full teaspoon. Which doesn’t seem like much, but when you also have the saltiness from the fish, a little sea salt goes a long, long way. We paired our chicken with a roasted sweet potato, primarily to serve as a vehicle for more Green Goddess dressing, because duh. You can also take remaining dressing and use it as a dipping sauce for the chicken itself. OR you can be a true Little Suzy Fat Pants and dump it on top of your cooked chicken, which may be what we did…

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. 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

. 1 cup packed basil leaves

. 1/4 cup packed dill

. 2 garlic cloves, peeled

. 1 sardine filet in oil

. 1 scallion, white and green parts

. Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime

. 1 – 1 1/5 teaspoons coarse kosher salt (to taste)

. 1 teaspoon black pepper

. 1 (4- to 5-pound) chicken, halved through the breast and back bones, patted dry with paper towels

. 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


1. Blend together the buttermilk, herbs, garlic, sardine, scallion, lime, S&P. Puree until smooth. It will froth lightly.

2. Place the chicken in a large bowl and cover with marinade. Refridge overnight. Reserve the rest of the marinade in a jar for later use.

3. The next day (hi! how did you sleep?) preheat the over to 500. Meanwhile…

4. Shake the marinade off the chicken pieces, then lay them on a large rimmed baking sheet. Pat the chicken dry, then drizzle with a bit of EVOO. Toss the old marinade, as it is now full of raw chicken juices. This is also something about which your granny would give you the side eye – a cavalier attitude toward poultry safety.

5. Roast the chicken until it’s cooked through, anywhere form 30-45 minutes. Juices should run clear and the outside will be gloriously crispy. It took my chicken exactly 40 minutes, but just watch it.

6. The hardest part – let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before you rip in. I know you want to caveman it UP right now, but patience.

4 thoughts on “New York Times Green Goddess Chicken

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