Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chicken Roast

When I think of roast chicken I think of comfort. Tender juicy chicken, crispy skin, perfectly cooked winter vegetables bathing in a thick gravy... COME ON! My chicken is extra tender because I gently release the skin from the meat, making sure to keep it intact and stuff it with homemade truffle, herb and garlic butter. I don't baste my chicken. This keeps it nice and crisp. Once I see it has good colour I cover it with foil and carry on cooking. It's totally worth the extra step of separating the skin as it results in the most succulent meat ever!

1 chicken (I used a young chicken which was 2.7 pounds)
2 tablespoons room temperature butter
1/2 teaspoon white or black truffle oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1 small clove of garlic
2 carrots
1 leek quartered
2 potatoes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Parboil potato and carrots, drain and set aside. In a mortar and pestle pound herbs and garlic to a paste. Add butter, truffle oil a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix until combined.
Being very delicate, release the skin of the chicken from the meat and gently rub the stuffing as far back and around as you can.

You want the skin to be detached but intact. It's okay if the butter hardens upon contact with the cold meat. It will melt and internally baste the meat in the oven. Place the potatoes, leeks and carrots in a baking dish and top with a tray. Place chicken on top, stuff it with a head of garlic and half an onion. Tie the legs in place.

 Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook 20 minutes per pound. The juices will drip from the skin and coat the veggies.

When cooked, remove the chicken and cover with tinfoil. Let it rest for 15 minutes. This way the juices will stay in the bird and keep it moist. Remove the veggies from the dish, place on a baking tray and broil on high until browned.

*Tip if the chicken is cooked but doesn't have the colouring you want, place the broiler on high and cook until crisp and golden. Make sure the bird is not too close to the flames.

Gravy Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon drippings
1/4 cup AP flour 
4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon maggi seasoning (optional)

Melt butter in saucepan. Add drippings. Add flour and cook until it bubbles and turns a golden brown colour. Add a ladle of stock at a time, whisking as you add. Finish with maggi seasoning and a touch of salt. I add more drippings if I feel it needs more depth. Bring to a boil and simmer until it thickens. Serve hot!

*Tip: The goodness doesn't end there- place the carcass in a large saucepan, fill with water, add a stalk of celery, carrot, one onion, a sprig of thyme, bay leaf, a couple peppercorns and parsley for a delicious stock. Bring to a boil, skim off the foam and cook on a low simmer for 3 hours.

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