Feasting & Beasting #1
Last night while out shopping for groceries for our upcoming Christmas dinner, I decided on a whim to whip up a roast chicken recipe inspired by Ina Garten's Roast Turkey with Truffle Butter recipe. As you can see, I've been doing my homework for the Christmas turkey, and I had a jar of Tetsuya's truffle salsa (you have got to try this stuff it's magic - it's great on everything from scrambled eggs to pasta) at home. I knew a single jar would not go far with a turkey, but with a wee chicken.... Oh, magic could happen.
If you aren't into making a whole Turkey over Christmas, or you just have fewer mouths to feed, this is a good go-to recipe. P seemed pleased with the results - the chicken was juicy and flavourful with just a hint of truffled notes coming through, and I quite liked it myself. Best of all, roasting things affords you time to do other things - like get ready, or watch some teevee, or make other dishes. It's also serve-ready in that you can (if you are truly strapped for time) just place the entire pyrex on the dining table. No one will judge you (except for me!) Pretty perfect if you want something satisfying, simple yet impressive (truffled-anything is impressive).
For those of you who prefer to be smacked in the face by the scent of truffle, then I'd say swap the truffle butter for straight up truffle oil and douse the entire bird in it.
Adapted from Ina Garten’s Roast Turkey with Truffle Butter Recipe:
1 fresh chicken, with giblets removed
1 1/2 tablespoons of butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons of truffle salsa by Tetsuya (available at Culina)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Large bunch fresh thyme
1 large onion, peeled
1 whole head garlic, unpeeled with the top chopped off
Good olive oil
Up to a day before, drain juices from the chicken and liberally salt the cavity with kosher salt, lightly salt the rest of the chicken. Keep in the fridge till 1 hour before cooking time.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Combine the truffle salsa and truffle butter. Mix well so that all ingredients are incorporated.
Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Place it on a large, shallow roasting pan breast side up.
Working from the large cavity end, gently run your fingers between the skin and the meat to loosen the skin, taking care not to tear the skin. Place the softened truffle-butter under the skin and gently massage the skin to spread the butter evenly over the whole breast. Flip the chicken over, make two small incisions in the skin on the thigh, and repeat the process. Rub the remaining truffle butter on the outside of the chicken.
Sprinkle the cavity generously with salt and pepper, sprinkle the outside with salt and some cracked black pepper
Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tie 1 length of string around the bird and the wings to keep the wings close to the body. Place the thyme sprigs along with the onion and garlic around the chicken.
Place in the oven and roast at 180°C for about 45 minutes, turn up the temperature to 220°C for the last 10 minutes to let the skin brown.
Remove from oven, let rest for about 10 minutes, and serve.