Chicken with Pimento Grits and Tomato Brodo
For the grits:
9 cups whole milk
1 sprig rosemary
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 bay leaves
2 cups young’s farms grits, soaked overnight, drained
1 teaspoon salt
For the pimento cheese:
1 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup mayo, preferable Kewpie
1/4 cup small diced piquillo peppers
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1 teaspoon jalapeño hot sauce
For the fortified stock:
2 quarts chicken stock
2 cups mirepoix (carrots, onions, celery)
1 cup white wine
6 cups roasted chicken bones
For the tomato brodo:
1 quart halved plum tomatoes
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 jalapeño, stemmed and seeded
1 bunch cilantro
1 cup fresh mint leaves
Juice of 2-3 limes
For the chicken:
8 small chickens, spatchcocked
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
Handful fresh thyme sprigs
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Make the grits: In a large pot, scald milk rosemary, garlic and bay leaves. Strain the milk and bring back up to a simmer. Slowly whisk in the grits and continue to stir constantly until cooked, about 40 minutes. Keep warm.
Make the pimento cheese: Combine the cheddar, cream cheese, mayo, peppers, scallions and hot sauce in a food processor and process to combine.
Make the stock: Combine the stock, mirepoix, wine and bones in a large pot and boil to reduce. The goal is to emulsify as much of the fat as possible. Reduce until slightly thickened.
Make the brodo: Preheat oven to 425°F. In a roasting pan, roast the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and jalapeno peppers until slightly charred on the outside, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly and then blend with the rest of the ingredients until smooth and season with salt.
Make the chicken: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Season the chickens with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and brown the chickens in batches, removing to a sheet pan or large roasting pan as they are done.
Roast, breast side up, in the oven, until the skin is crispy and the chickens are cooked through, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small skillet and add the thyme and garlic. Cook until sizzles. Baste the chicken with the flavored butter in the last few minutes of cooking.
To serve, stir some pimento cheese into the grits and put the grits in a serving bowl or plates. Top with with a little more pimento cheese. Ladle the tomato broth in the bottom of a deep serving platter, top with the chickens