chicken in a bath

26 February 2017

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This is my go-to roast chicken recipe. It’s sort of French country style by way of Australia (hi Ma!) – I imagine myself cooking it in a chateau kitchen somewhere in Burgundy, surrounded by friends and fine wine. This is the closest I’ve got to replicating rotisserie chicken at home, and I challenge anyone to find a cooking method that results in more succulent and juicy meat. The aroma as it roasts is simply sensational, and the resultant crispy skin a wonder to behold.
Eat the skin FFS; life is short.

Amazing served with mashed sweet potatoes and green beans tossed in butter and garlic, although also see super easy alternative accompaniment at the end of the recipe. Delicious in sandwiches slathered with mayonnaise, or chopped into a salad, risotto, or creamy pasta sauce. My suggestion would be to shred any leftover meat from the carcass while it is still warm. This is of course assuming that anything remains after the main meal…in my experience people will probably ask for seconds.

Chicken in a Bath

large free range chicken (I suggest around 2kg)
1 tablespoon olive oil
20g butter
4 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
a few sprigs fresh rosemary
a few sprigs fresh thyme
250ml chicken stock
125ml dry white wine
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 180°C. Melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat.

Place the chicken in a roasting tin. Brush the skin all over with olive oil and melted butter.

Lightly crush the whole garlic cloves (you can leave the skin on), and place them in the chicken cavity along with the bay leaves, rosemary and thyme.

Pour the stock and white wine over the chicken, and season well with salt and pepper.*

Put it in the preheated oven for around 2 hours (reduce the cooking time if your chicken weighed substantially less than 2kg), or until the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thigh, basting every 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and lift the chicken onto a board or carving dish, then cover it with foil and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving for maximum mouthwatering moistness.

*If you want a no-effort accompaniment, surround the uncooked chicken with scrubbed baby potatoes before it goes in the oven.

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