Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Slow roast chicken with Red wine sauce..hic!
Roast chicken is something I love to eat. Except that I didn't quite roast the chicken (I would actually cook the it in a large pan on very low heat). You see, I was actually quite worried about ending up with a burnt, charred skin. Or with meat that tasted, well, like a piece of cardboard in the mouth.
But that was till yesterday. I finally roasted a chicken in the oven and ended up with a roast that was just slighly crisp on the outside and utterly succulent on the inside, with all the natural flavour of the chicken intact.
It is all to do with the science of cooking, it seems. Roasting essentially is the use of dry heat to cook. During oven roasting, hot air circulates around the meat and therefore, it follows that too much heat squeezes out the moisture (juices) too quicky (before the proteins have started to break down) and that is when the roast ends up being dry.
In slow roasting however, the juices are released steadily and so, the shrinkage of the fibers in the meat is a lot lesser. Result, you end up with meat that is juicy and has an inviting pinkish tinge to it, instead of a dull grayish brown look. Moreover, it requires virtually no basting!
Chicken 1.5 kgs (skin on)
Butter 30 gms
Garlic 3 cloves, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
Onions, cut into quarters, sprinkled with a generous tsp of sugar
Salt and pepper powder
Potatoes, carrots and any other veggie you want
Herbs of your choice (I used parsley)
Wash the chicken and pat it dry thoroughly, outside and inside. Melt the butter in a small vessel, pop in the garlic and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Let cool. Squeeze the lime juice (don't discard the squeezed lemon wedges), salt and pepper into the butter garlic mixture. Rub this marinade over the outside and inside of the chicken. Stuff the onions and the lemons slices into the cavity of the chicken.
Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for atleast 4 hrs. The longer, the better.
Preheat the oven to 175 deg C for 5 minutes. In the meantime , make a few slits in the veggies and toss them in salt, pepper, herbs and a little olive oil. Throw them into the roasting pan. Place the chicken breast side down. By doing this, while cooking, all the juices will flow to the breast which is the driest part of the chicken.
Cover the pan loosely with aluminium foil and roast for 30 mins (you are doing this so that the cold chicken is not subject to the heat directly, thereby drying up the outside - if you bring the meat to room temperature before you begin cooking, you can skip this part).
After 30 mins, remove the foil and let the chicken cook for a further 60-75 mins. Do baste your chicken once after 30 mins with the juices that flow out. After about an hour, insert a skewer into the thigh, if the juices run clear, your chicken is done.
Now, turn the chicken breast side up, turn up the heat to 200 deg C and roast till it gets a lovely brown colour.
Let it rest for about 10 mins before serving, doing this ensures that the juices that had initially just flowed down to the breast while cooking are redistributed evenly.
In the meantime, prepare the red wine sauce.
Open the wine bottle, taste the wine. Nice? Well, pour yourself a glass.
Heat a tbsp of butter. Add a clove of minced garlic and half an onion(chopped). Fry till the onion becomes soft and pink. Add the chicken stock from the roasting pan and bring to a boil.
Add 1/2 a cup wine - no, not to your glass, to the pan - but yes, feel free to top up your glass as well - and bring to a boil. Adjust the seasoning (salt, pepper, paprika). Add a tsp of cornflour (dissolved in some water) and cook till sauce thickens. Drain your glass.
No, I don't have pictures of the sauce. And I don't have pictures of how the chicken looked when it was carved and plated. You guys understand, don't you?
It is not just about the ingredients or the recipe, good food happens when it is served with love!!