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Saturday, 18 June 2011

Roasted Chicken With Garlic, Lemon and Porcini Butter

There are many variations and methods of roasting the foul bird. Add wine to the bottom, roast with and then without a lid, pot roast, with stuffing, covered in herbs, covered in spices, stuff under the breast, roast in a barbecue on top of a beer can, and so it goes. This time I have opted for flavoured butter under the breast skin and a skewered lemon in the guts. You could use any flavour that takes your fancy. The only really important point is to cook it properly, uncooked chicken not only sucks its dangerous. Allow 20mins per 450gms with the first 15mins at 220C then the remaining time at 190C ('The Cooks Book'). In any case check it, skewer to the thigh, if it bleeds it needs more lovin, if not take it out and cover it. I would also check it 20mins before the recommended time as sometimes they cook early.

2kg whole chicken
3 tbs butter
2 cloves garlic minced
5 cloves garlic whole, skin on
1 tbs chopped rosemary
2 tsp porcini salt
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 lemon
3 thick slices of peeled sweet potato
1 peeled carrot halved length ways
1 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
3 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup parsley chopped
Olive oil
Roast potato/pumpkin and steamed greens

Pre-heat the oven to 220C. Combine the butter, lemon zest, porcini salt, balsamic and rosemary in a bowl. Separate the skin from the breast meat from the cavity end of the chicken and with your fingers, push as much butter as you can under the skin trying very carefully not to break the skin. Rub the remaining butter over the rest of the chicken. Jab the lemon a few times with a small knife and insert in the cavity with 2 garlic cloves and secure the legs with kitchen string. The lemon and garlic steam through the chicken flavouring it from the inside out. Rub oil over the sweet potato, carrot and 3 of the garlic cloves and place of the bottom of the roasting tray tightly grouped. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and roast as per above. When cooked remove from the oven, turn the chicken upside-down to allow the resting juices to run back through the breast, cover with foil then a tea towel and allow to rest while you make gravy.

To make the gravy, remove the vegetables and garlic (sans skin) from the roasting tray and puree using a blender. The vegetables and garlic a) have taken on all of the flavour from the chicken and b) will thicken your gravy. Place the roasting tray on the stove top over a medium high heat, sprinkle in the sugar. When the sugar has some colour, deglaze with the wine and remove any crusty bits from the pan. Pour the wine mixture into a saucepan with the chicken stock and stir in the vegetable puree. Reduce over a medium high heat until at your required consistency. Pour in the resting juices from the chicken, reduce the heat to low. Carve the chicken. If you've every wondered how to do this easily, here is an example from YouTube. Add any little bits of meat to the gravy along with the parsley and check for seasoning.

Serve with roasted potatoes and pumpkin and steamed greens.

Any leftover gravy is brilliant to poach eggs in for breakfast the following day. Thin the gravy a little with water and only use a medium to low heat to poach with. It sounds gross but its wicked.

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