Monday, August 1, 2011

Chicken and Red Wine

Alone at home for 2 weeks, and I hate preparing meals for one. I over do it for two.

I found a corn-fed free range chicken at the supermarket on the way home, well after spending about 15 minutes staring at the fish and meat and having no idea what i was going to do for myself. Finally I decided on chicken, I figured a quick and easy roast was the best option, plus I'd have left overs for the next night.

I pulled out the cider vinegar and olive oil, when half a bottle of merlot caught my eye. This changed everything. I didn't know exactly what I was going to do, I just knew it involved slicing a chicken in half and lots of wine.

Along with the wine I used thyme, paprika (hot and smoked), smoked salt (yes I am obsessed), bacon, onion, salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon, black olives (I really think those tinned 'Pelion' olives are best when roasting), sunchoke, 1/2 a bottle of wine, garlic and lemon zest.

Slice the onions, peel the sunchoke and put in acidulated water (to stop it discolouring), dice bacon, zest lemon, grate the garlic, slice lemon and get a few olives out(10ish). Oh and slice your chicken in half.

Place a pan on a medium heat and pour in a small amount of olive oil and place in the bacon (while pan is still cold, this helps to render out the fat). Wait until you hear a few pops and sizzles and then turn the heat up, wait until the fat has rendered out then add the onions and cook until softened.

Once the onions have softened add the herbs & spices, cook till aromatic.

Add the wine and reduce to about 1/3.

Spread out in a roasting pan and add the lemon slices.

Place the chicken halves on top, and rub in the garlic and lemon zest. Scatter the sunchoke and olives around the chicken. Finally cover with foil and cook at 180°C for about 30-40minutes depending on the size of your bird.

Once the cooking time is up uncover the dish making sure nothing sticks to the foil, place back in the oven for 10-20minutes depending on the size of the bird.

Once the skin is crisp and the bird is cooked, portion, serve, eat.

This is now my go to chicken dish with out a doubt, no longer is it a quick and easy roast with vege. It's falling off the bone tender, juicy, crispy skin, and a sauce that is awesomely rich.

A note on this would be to make sure your lemon is not too acidic or too big, the lemon can kill it, if in doubt use half a lemon.

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