Sunday, March 09, 2003

Baked Chicken (Poule Rôtie)

This takes time (including day-before prepping), but is definitely worth it!

Serves 6

1 large (>2kg) chicken

1/4 cup very finely chopped onions
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cayenne (red) pepper

Seasoning mix:
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne (red) pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup very finely chopped onions
3/4 cup very finely chopped green capsicum
1/2 cup very finely chopped celery
3 cups double-strength chicken stock (if you use cubes/powder, just double the amount of concentrate used)
1/2 cup finely chopped spring onions (tops only)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley

In a small bowl, combine the stuffing ingredients & mix very well.
Using a knife, cut 12-16 slits in the chicken, all the way to the bone, to form pockets; make most of the pockets in the meatiest parts, & make each pocket 2-3cm long. (Be careful not to cut slits all the way through the cavity wall.)
Fill each pocket with some of the stuffing, using it all; or rub any excess stuffing over the surface of the chicken.
Combine the seasoning mix ingredients thoroughly & sprinkle evenly over the chicken, using it all & pressing it in by hand.
Cover chicken & refrigerate overnight. Keep refrigerated until just before ready to bake.
Place 1/4 cup of oil in a large, heavy, ovenproof pan. Drain chicken & rub well inside & out with the extra 1 tablespoon oil.
Place chicken in pan, breast side up; cover & bake at 200ºC for 1 hour.
Remove pan from oven & turn chicken over; return to oven and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
Remove pan from oven & remove chicken from pan. Skim most of the fat from the pan juices.
Put chicken back in pan breast side up & put the onion, capsicum & celery around the chicken. Return pan to oven & continue baking uncovered for about 10 minutes.
Remove pan from oven, turn chicken over again & stir pan juices well. Add stock & sprinkle spring onions & parsley over chicken. Cover pan & continue baking until chicken is tender, about 1 hour.
Remove pan from oven, transfer chicken to a serving platter & cover loosely with aluminium foil; set aside.
Place the pan with the juices over high heat & reduce the pan gravy to about 2 cups, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Skim fat off gravy if desired & serve immediately, spooned over carved chicken pieces.

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