Roast chicken and mushrooms

If everything tastes like chicken then what does chicken taste like? The true flavour of chicken is best if it’s not overpowered. Simple is best but sometimes simplicity takes time.

Chicken

1 large chicken

2 bulbs peeled garlic

1 large onion

2 carrots

2 medium-sized yellow potatoes.

Butter

Salt pepper bay leaves thyme

Mushrooms

3.3 lb (1.5 kg) button mushrooms

1/4 cup (50g) salt

1/2 cup (120ml) Beaujolais wine

1/4 cup (60ml) red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp (15g) cornstarch

Cheesecloth

Day One : Create a brine for the chicken — 1/4 cup (50 g) of salt per litre of water along with a few bay leaves and peppercorns. Ensure the brine is cold before submerging the chicken. Keep the chicken cold and under the brine for three to four hours. Remove from brine pat the chicken dry and wrap in a clean kitchen towel to dry in the fridge overnight.

Chop two-thirds of the mushrooms and combine with 1/4 cup (50 g) of salt. Wrap in cheesecloth and hang in the fridge overnight with a bowl underneath to collect the juices.

Two hours before eating : Allow the chicken to stand at room temperature as you prepare the veggies. Warm oven to 400 F (200 C). Cut the onion into six pieces held together by the root. Cut the carrots and potatoes to a similar size and leave the peeled garlic whole. Melt enough butter to coat all the veggies and combine in the pan you intend to roast the chicken in — season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on the veggies and put the pan into the oven. After 15 minutes reduce heat to 320 F (160 C) and allow the bird to cook for about 90 minutes or until the temperature of the largest part of the leg reaches 32 F (65 C) in the middle. Keep an eye on the veggies throughout cooking. If they get too dark add a splash of water. Allow cooked chicken to rest for 15 minutes.

Quarter the remaining mushrooms and sauté over high heat in a decent amount of butter. Add the wine and vinegar and boil until the acid stops stinging your nose. Add the juice collected from the hanging mushrooms and squeeze out any remaining moisture. If there is any moisture in the bottom of the roasting pan add it to the sauce. Bring the sauce back to boil and add the cornstarch (to avoid clumping dissolve the cornstarch in a touch of cold water before adding). Boil gently for another five minutes to remove any starchy flavour.

Carve the chicken and serve.

Feeds 2 to 4.

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