The cracklin' chicken at the Plimoth is a staple on the menu. But it's one that evolves and this winter's rendition may just be the best yet. "We really wanted to do something to highlight these amazing beans," chef Charles MacDonald explains, holding a container of plump cannelini beans. "They are an easy canvas to paint with. As soon as I tasted them, I thought, 'Let's go to Italy and use Venetian flavors.'"
The beans come from Plowshares Community Farms and the chefs wanted to use them to create a rich winter dish. The chicken is usually the star of this dish, but this time, the beans are running the show.
"People always ask us how we make the chicken so crispy and moist and honestly, it's because we start with really good chicken." The chicken is salted and peppered, then browned on a very hot cast iron skillet in olive oil and then baked in a 500-degree oven for about ten minutes.
While the chicken bakes, the chef heats a house-made, rustic chicken stock and cooks the beans with charred broccolini, lemon juice, and butter. This heated broth is poured over a bean and bacon puree, which gives the base of the dish an incredible richness.
The finished chicken is topped with an endive and celery salad, dressed in a sweet, refreshing lemon agrodolce. Completely aware and perhaps a bit sensitive to truffle oil's tendency to overpower, the chef specifically adds only five drops to the salad. "We really only want the aroma, not as much the taste from the truffle oil."
The chicken will be on the menu throughout the colder months and into the spring. Get it for dinner Tuesda through Saturday after 4 p.m.