Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Awesome-ease Chicken

Been a while since i shared a recipe, and i've been making some variation of this fairly regularly of late ... This is a sort of kitchen-friendly variation on Portuguese Chicken done in an oven. And it's super-shit-easy to make. I used to make it on a BBQ but this is probably nicer to eat and easier to cook properly.

PS I admit i've had a couple of very lovely glasses of Church Block '07 and came up with the utterly-naff name which i've never used before. It's just a super-tasty roast chicken.

1. Cut chicken

Start by cutting a chicken up the breast-bone.

2. Prepare pan

Place a handful of (freshly picked of course) thyme in the middle of a suitably sized dish/oven-proof frying pan.

3. Mount the fowl

Push down on the back of the chicken to flatten it out - you should hear bones/joints breaking - if you're picky you can also break out the rib-bones at this point to make it easier to eat - and then place it over the thyme. I also poked it over with a fork to help the seasoning in and the fat out.

4. Seasoning, Lemon & Salt

Cover with the juice of one (small) lemon, and if you have it, about a 2 teaspoons of Asian 'chicken seasoning' - this is about 1/2 salt, with some flour, MSG, onion and stock powder mixed in. A good teaspoon of vegetta powdered stock, or simply salt and some pepper would suffice.

5. Seasoning, Herbs

Cover with broken fresh herbs (e.g. sage) and sliced ripe chillies. I also sometimes add a few thin slices of ripe tomato at this point, but my tomato plants are still growing this early in the season ...

6. Cook It

Being flat, it cooks a bit faster even at the normal 180C. I usually baste it a couple of times as well to bring out some colour, and when it looks cooked it usually is. This small fowl was an hour in a pre-heated oven - about 45-50 minutes/kilo rather than 60. I also upped the temperature for the last 15 minutes, but one has to be careful not to burn the herbs too much.

7. Eat It

Because the chicken is laid down flat it traps the steam inside and cooks from both the inside and outside at the same time (i'm sure the black pan helps). This cooks it faster and keeps it very moist. And with the skin upwards it crisps up nicely and builds up a strong flavour.

It scales in the obvious way to larger fowl - I've cooked up to size 20 chickens this way.

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