Thursday, 13 August 2015

Parsley Buttered Chicken

At the risk of repeating myself - here's another roast chicken recipe - we do seem to eat rather a lot of roast chicken in this house! It's not until I started writing my recipes and this blog, that I realized just how much! .......well no ones complained so I'll just keep cooking it!!! - it's just so easy to do and I love having the leftovers to do quick meals with over the following days.....

So, here's my recipe for parsley buttered chicken, I make this a lot for cooking poultry. By smoothing the butter under the skin it bastes and keeps the meat moist whilst cooking - it's especially good for dryer meats such as turkey or pheasant. For those birds I will pop the butter under the skin and then lay bacon over the top to help seal in all the flavour & juices whilst it cooking.

Recipe - serves 4

1 Chicken - about 1.5kg
1 pat butter (250g) - softened at room temperature
large bunch parsley
a lemon
teaspoon coriander seeds
2 cloves garlic
pinch chilli flakes
sea salt and black pepper
small bunch fresh thyme
a few bay leaves - fresh or dry
a large onion - cut in half, not peeled.
some olive oil
half glass white wine.

Pre -heat oven 200C/Gas 6

First bring your chicken out of the fridge, uncover and leave to one side to bring it up to room temperature whilst you prepare the butter.

Grab your parsley and remove about half the length of the stalks and set aside, along with a few of the leaves. The rest you need to finely chop - either in a processor or by hand......

Next pop the whole pat of butter into your mixer and whisk, on medium, for a few minutes.

You don't want light and fluffy but you do want it soft and creamy!

Gather together your spices and zest the lemons before halving and juicing them - save the lemon shells

Now, lightly grind/crush the coriander and peppercorns before adding to your butter. Followed by the crushed garlic,chilli flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, a large pinch of sea salt and then the parsley.

Keep it all mixing until it has all combined - the lemon juice will take a little while to mix in but don't despair is will suddenly all come together.

Pop the lemon shells, parsley stalks and leave that you set aside and use them to stuff inside the cavity of the chicken.

I then like to tie up the legs for this dish - I don't know why - just like the look and I think it keeps the juices in better - you don't have to do this bit!

Now turn the chicken so it's facing you and then, using your hand, gently part the skin from the top of the chicken - i.e. the breast - you need to get your hand between the skin and the flesh -then gently move your hand right through to the top and down the sides.

.................this is not a good looking photo!......... and also it's not easy taking photo's whilst doing this - I washed my hands so many times my fingers went all prune like !!!!.........

I had a chef friend who hated doing this job and would use a wooden spoon to do it - I prefer to use my hands as there is less likely hood of tearing the skin.

Once you have done that you can start adding the butter. Take small lumps of the butter and place under the the skin don't try to even it out yet just get it all under the first bit of the skin.

When you have all the butter under the skin, wash and dry your hands (again!) and you can then gently rub your hands over the skin and move the butter into place. It's much easier to do it this way and you will get an even spread.

Now place the chicken into a deep roasting dish or heavy based casserole pot - pour a little olive oil into the bottom to stop it sticking. Tuck the onion at one end, pop the bay leaves around and sprigs of thyme over the breasts.

Pop in the oven and cook for about an hour and a half. Basting after about 40 minutes.

Once the skin has started to turn a golden brown - it will be darker where the butter was - and the juices run clear, your chicken is done. Remove form the oven and leave to stand in the pan for about five minutes to let the juices run out.

Remove the chicken to a warmed carving plate to rest whilst you make a quick gravy with the juices.

Remove the onion and drain most of the butter out of the pan. Place over a high heat and scrap all the lovely 'bits' up from the bottom. Once you have the juices boiling frantically pour in the wine so it sizzles and cooks off the bitter alcohol.

Let it reduce until you just have a few tablespoons of sauce in the bottom of the pan - this is just a sauce for the meat not a full jug of gravy to pour over the whole meal.

If you want a large jug of gravy add a tablespoonful of flour to the buttery juices and whisk to form a paste before adding the wine. Then slowly add about half a pint of chicken stock, whisking as you go, and let it bubble away to the desired thickness - thin with a little water if needed.

Whilst the sauce is cooking you can carve your chicken ready for serving.

I served this meal with a bowl of buttered new potatoes and a plate of steamed green beans.......but really anything would work even a bowl of hot pasta or rice......

Hope you all have a great day
Love Lizx

 Parsley Buttered Chicken